Thousands at vigil for shooting victims

Jiraporn Kuhakan
Large crowds have joined a memorial service for the victims of Thai soldier Jakrapanth Thomma

Thousands of people holding candles have attended a vigil in northeast Thailand after a rogue soldier killed at least 29 people and wounded 57 before being shot dead.

Monks led prayers as people laid white flowers in memory of the victims at the service, which was held by the statue of historic local heroine Thao Suranari in the city of Nakhon Ratchasima. Some shed tears as they remembered the dead.

Most of those killed were at the city's Terminal 21 shopping centre, where the shooter held out against an overnight siege with an assault rifle and ammunition stolen from his army base.

Local resident Chirathip Kurapakorn was among those who attended.

"You have this rage, it fills you," he said.

"I have two kids of my own and just thinking about those lives in there. I could not sleep at all last night. I was just trying to get the right news and just wanted to help somehow, but I just could not.

"It just happened right here in our hometown behind us, like right in our heart of everything. It's just tragic."

Pacharida Sangthongsuk also wanted to pay tribute to those who died.

"I feel depressed that something like this could happen," Pacharida said.

The killings began around 3pm local time on Saturday when the soldier opened fire in a house before moving to an army camp and then to the mall, where he shot bystanders as he moved inside.

The soldier, identified as Jakrapanth Thomma, was finally shot dead by security forces early on Sunday in the basement of the mall.