A tragic family dispute led to the killing of four people by a police officer with a grudge in southern Thailand. The incident occurred over the weekend when four men were shot dead by a police officer attached to the Khirirat Nakhom Police Station in Surat Thani and his three accomplices.
According to Provincial Police Region 8 commissioner Pol. Lt. Gen Surapong Thanomchit, the four men, allegedly led by 46 year old Pol. Snr. Sgt. Maj. Atthaporn Wichian, stormed a house in tambon Kapao and opened fire on the victims. The group included Atthaporn’s elder brother, 48 year old Thammarat Wichian, 57 year old Manop Wang-ngan, and another unidentified suspect.
The victims killed in the attack included the 60 year old house owner Thammarong Nilniyom, his 49 year old wife Nilthip Palakachen, the 56 year old former chief of Moo 13 village in tambon Tha Khanon Pornsak Phetchu, and another unidentified man, Bangkok Post reported.
CCTV footage of the incident showed the four suspects arriving at the house in a Toyota Vios car at 1.06pm on Saturday. Three of them got out of the car, including Pol Snr Sgt Maj Atthaporn, Thammarat, and Manop, who were all armed. Atthaporn and Thammarat carried an M16 rifle each while Manop had a shotgun.
One of the three men opened fire at Nilthip, who was sitting by a large water jar, killing her instantly. The three then stormed into the house and went on a shooting spree, killing Thammarong and Pornsak. However, it is believed one of the victims returned fire, killing one of the attackers, Thammarat.
After the shooting, Pol. Snr. Sgt. Maj. Atthaporn and Manop fled the scene in the waiting Toyota Vios.
Pol. Lt. Gen. Surapong revealed that both Atthaporn and Manop were still at large, and the police were seeking court warrants for their arrests on murder charges. The car driver was later found dead in the vehicle, and the police believe he may have been hit by a stray bullet during the gunfight.
Police reports suggest that Atthaporn was Thammarong’s son in law.
Atthaporn divorced his former wife in October 2022 and married Panida, Thammarong’s only daughter, who divorced her former husband last year.
Thammarong reportedly disliked Atthaporn and tried to break up their marriage, causing bad blood between the pair.
Although the police believe that this was the motive for the killing spree, the investigation is still ongoing, according to Pol. Lt. Gen. Surapong.
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