Thai teen lies in coma after alleged police shooting: Family seeks justice

Picture courtesy of KhaoSod

The relatives of a 14 year old boy are seeking justice after he was allegedly shot in the head by a police officer in Phetchabun province, Thailand. Together with a social justice advocate, the boy’s aunt, 56 year old Monnat Pa Kaew, and his mother, 40 year old Eum Phon Somsri, reported the case to the Central Investigative Bureau today.

The incident occurred on July 6, during a religious event at a temple in the Lom Sak district. A group of teenagers, including the boy named Coke, who is a Year 9 student, were allegedly arguing loudly at the event. Shortly after, an armed police officer allegedly shot the boy, resulting in a coma. He is currently being treated at Phetchabun Hospital.

Ronnarong Kaewphet, President of the Social Justice Reclamation Campaign Network, said that initially, the police called the ambulance claiming that the boy was involved in a road accident. A teenage witness, however, claims the police deliberately shot the boy. Ronnarong said…

“The police officer used excessive force. He could have filmed the teenagers and issued an arrest warrant later. But instead, he shot directly at them.”

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The gunshot was lodged into the two sides of the boy’s skull, and he remains unconscious in the hospital, reported KhaoSod.

The family has sought help from Police Lieutenant Colonel Jirawat Thongtha after local police refused to accept their case, insisting it was an “accidental shooting.” Nevertheless, relatives are determined to pursue the legal prosecution of the involved officer.

A teenage witness, 16 year old Kheaw (a pseudonym), allegedly saw the incident. According to Kheaw, there was verbal conflict but no physical confrontation. Nothing further happened until the police officer threatened to shoot them. Kheaw added that the police officer seemed drunk, and he noticed several beer cans inside the officer’s vehicle.

By interviewing the relatives and the teenage witness, the investigating team is collecting information to determine the course of action. The case will then be handed over to higher police for a final decision. The family, bystanders and community are all seeking justice for the horrific incident.

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Nattapong Westwood

Nattapong Westwood is a Bangkok-born writer who is half Thai and half Aussie. He studied in an international school in Bangkok and then pursued journalism studies in Melbourne. Nattapong began his career as a freelance writer before joining Thaiger. His passion for news writing fuels his dedication to the craft, as he consistently strives to deliver engaging content to his audience.

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