Police shoot grenade-yielding man holding woman hostage in northeast Thailand

Police shot and injured a man who, armed with a grenade, held a woman hostage for three hours this morning in Khon Kaen province, northeast Thailand. After hours of failed negotiation, a SWAT team was called in, who shot the man in his left shoulder and saved the hostage.

At 9am, officers at Muang Khon Kaen Police Station received a report that a homeless man had committed a robbery in front of Thepharak Railway Community near Border Patrol Police Division Region 2. Police went to the scene where they found the alleged thief.

Police searched the man and found a single 11m caliber firearm with 10 bullets inside, which they confiscated. The man was “talking nonsense” and was possibly on drugs, said police. The man revealed an M61 grenade before running away.

The man ran in and out of several houses before entering the Chai Garage motorbike repair shop. The man captured the shop owner’s wife and 2 children. The children managed to escape, but the man held the woman hostage.

Police asked the man what he wanted. The man said he wanted to see his wife, but the police then found out that the man didn’t have a wife. Then, the police delivered the man a bottle of cold water on a “police robot.” The man took the water and the robot but wouldn’t let the woman go.

The police sectioned off the road and requested reinforcement. At around noon, a SWAT team shot the man in his left shoulder, making him fall to the ground, but not killing him. The police gave the hostage a sign to run away. She is now safe.

The hostage’s husband, 54 year old Prasob Tasengsa, said he saw the police search the homeless man. He said the man had a bomb but the police couldn’t catch him. Prasob saw the man running in and out of houses, “spouting nonsense” before he ran into his motorbike repair shop and captured his family.

Prasob said he was relieved when the children got away but was very worried about his wife since the man had a grenade.

Police confiscated the grenade and passed it on to Khon Kaen’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit.

The injured man was taken to Khon Kaen Hospital to have his gunshot wound treated. Once he has recovered he will be taken to Mueang Khon Kaen Police Station for questioning.

SOURCE: Thai Rath

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Leah is a translator and news writer for the Thaiger. Leah studied East Asian Religions and Thai Studies at the University of Leeds and Chiang Mai University. Leah covers crime, politics, environment, human rights, entertainment, travel and culture in Thailand and southeast Asia.