Thai police arrest suspect in robbery that killed toddler

BUSABA SIVASOMBOON
FILE - This Thursday, Jan. 9, 2020, file image made from a security camera video and provided by Royal Thai Police Crime Suppression Division, shows a person alleged to have shot dead people at a gold shop robbery in a mall in Thailand's central province of Lopburi. Thai police have arrested a man on suspicion of a ruthless triple killing, including that of a toddler, during a gold shop robbery earlier this month that shocked the country.  Local media reported the suspect was the director of a primary school. (Royal Thai Police Crime Suppression Division via AP, File)

BANGKOK (AP) — Police in Thailand have arrested a man on suspicion of ruthlessly killing three people, including a toddler, during a gold shop robbery that shocked the country.

Local media said the suspect is the director of a primary school. It was unclear when he was arrested.

Thai TV stations on Wednesday broadcast live as police marched the man, wearing a face mask and baseball cap, into a police station in Lopburi, about 145 kilometers (90 miles) north of Bangkok, while a crowd of onlookers shouted abuse at him.

National police chief Chakthip Chaijinda said the suspect was cooperating and did not deny involvement.

The robbery took place Jan. 9 at a gold shop inside a shopping mall in Lopburi. Security video showed a man wearing a balaclava and camouflage pants approach the store, carrying a pistol with a long silencer attached.

He opened fire at staff and passersby. A 2-year-old boy was hit as he walked past with his mother. A security guard and a shop assistant were also killed. Four others were wounded.

The robber then jumped over the counter and grabbed a number of gold necklaces before fleeing.

The incident caused outrage in Thailand, putting authorities under pressure to make a swift arrest.

Police say they would give further details about the arrest at a news conference on Thursday.