Shooting instructor opens fire in Rayong, Thailand

Photo via KhaoSod

A shooting instructor who is a former soldier fired gunshots from inside a house in Rayong province in eastern Thailand this morning. Police surrounded the house but the gunman still hasn’t surrendered. No injuries or fatalities have been reported.

At 7am, officers at Mueang Rayong Police Station received a call from 70 year old “Rang” to help arrest his “manic” son who had fired multiple shots in the house causing panic to everyone in the neighbourhood.

Police said the gunman is 34 year old “Pong,” a shooting instructor who used to serve in the army. Police said that Pong took methamphetamine until he started having hallucinations causing mania.

Before the incident, Pong reportedly grew dissatisfied after he was scolded by a female neighbour. He walked into the house, shut the door, and fired a gun, said police.

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Concerned neighbours called Pong’s father Rang who, fearing more gunfire, swiftly called the police to the scene.

Police tried to persuade Pong to come outside to no avail. Around one hour later, Pong fired two more shots, one of them penetrating the neighbour’s window but thankfully not hurting anyone. After the gunfire, Pong said, “Don’t pressure me, don’t pressure me.” Then everything fell silent.

Pong’s parents came to the scene and told their son to put his gun down and come outside, but he still didn’t surrender.

Rang said that his son has a passion for firearms. After he was discharged from the army, Pong began collecting guns and became a shooting instructor, his father said.

Pong married and had a daughter but later moved out to live alone after splitting up with his wife, said Rang. He was manic because of drug abuse, he added.

A neighbour, 61 year old “Lek,” said that Pong used to be a good-natured person but his behaviour changed lately after Pong started getting involved with drugs. Lek said that recently Pong likes to shoot guns inside the house at night, terrifying everyone in the street.

In March, SWAT police shot dead an ex-military ranger who went on a gun rampage in Petchaburi province, central Thailand, killing three people and injuring three more. Police said the gunman showed no signs of surrender after 14 hours of failed negotiations.

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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.

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