In a daycare facility in northern Thailand, three-year-old Emmy was napping next to her best friend when the assailant, who was armed with a gun and a knife, broke in.
The 11 students in the class, who are all under three years old, had been busy earlier writing and drawing. All the parents of the smiling, happy kids received photo updates from the teachers at around 10:00 local time.
Panya Kamrab, a former police officer, broke into the building during nap time two hours later. Witnesses claimed that before forcing his way into each of the three kindergarten classrooms, the shooter shot members of the staff, including a teacher who was eight months pregnant.
He killed all of Emmy’s pals while they slept.
How she managed to live is a mystery. In addition to the bodies of her classmates, she was discovered curled up and awake.
She woke up with no memory of what had happened, according to her 59-year-old grandfather Somsak Srithong, who is speaking to me from the family home.
She believed her friends were still in bed. A policeman carried her away from the blood and covered her face with a cloth.
To protect Emmy from the horror, rescuers carried her to the second floor. Then, in a last-ditch effort to locate more survivors, they searched the other two classes.
She is the sole survivor of Thursday’s massacre in Nong Bua Lamphu. Twenty-four of the 37 fatalities were children, including the attacker’s wife and stepson.
“I’m incredibly grateful that she made it. When I first saw her, I gripped her so tightly, recalls Somsak.
Panompai Srithong, Emmy’s mother, is a weekday worker in Bangkok at the age of 35. She needed to be persuaded that her daughter was still alive because she had been informed that every child at the center was dead.