3 Thai men arrested for involvement in shooting at Siam Paragon

Photo via Facebook/ สืบนครบาล IDMB

Following a further investigation into the suspects connected to the shooting at the Siam Paragon mall in Bangkok, police arrested three Thai men for selling a modified blank gun and bullets to the teenage gunman.

The tragic incident at Siam Paragon, which saw two foreign women shot dead and five injured, spread grief throughout the country and also raised awareness of gun ownership and gun laws in Thailand. Many people questioned how the 14 year old gunman obtained the weapon. Others pointed out that many firearms are offered online and condemned the authorities for their recklessness.

Officers investigated how the young suspect obtained the gun and discovered three Thai men selling firearms and related equipment online. The three were identified as 45 year old Suwannahong Phramkanajarn, 22 year old Akkawit Jaithong and 31 year old Pityabut Pianpithak.

Officers from the Metropolitan Police Bureau’s Investigation Division arrested the first two suspects, Sunannahong and Akkawit, at their home in the southern province of Yala yesterday, October 5. The two suspects lived in the same house on Waeluwan Road, Sa Taeng sub-district, Meuang Yala district, Yala province.

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From the house, officers seized 209 blank gun bullets, 33 metal tubes for gun barrels, two bank accounts and three gun magazines.

The two were later transferred to Yannawa Police Station in Bangkok for further questioning and legal proceedings.

Another police team also arrested the final suspect, Piyabut, at his home in Bangkok’s Don Mueang district yesterday. Officers confiscated a blank gun from Piyabut’s possession and another from his house along with blank bullets.

Officers reported that Suwannahong and Akkawit sold a modified blank gun to the gunman, while Piyabut offered him the bullets and the gun magazine.

Pitabut refused to modify the blank gun for sale himself. He said he was just a middleman who arranged for a customer to come to the shop. He claimed that he only earned 500 baht or a free meal as a reward for bringing customers.

RTA shooting range investigation

Police discovered a video of the teenage killer practising on his mobile phone at a shooting range. Because of his age, he was not allowed to be a member of the shooting range. Police investigated the shooting range that allowed the teenage gunman to enter.

The shooting range in the video was later identified as the Territorial Defence Command shooting range under the supervision of the Royal Thai Army (RTA).

The RTA reported that the range does not allow people of his age to practice shooting. However, the range does allow members to bring anyone they guarantee to the range.

The RTA assumed that a member had invited the underage suspect to the range and would assist the police in identifying the member.

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Petch Petpailin

Petpailin, or Petch, is a Thai translator and writer for The Thaiger who focuses on translating breakingThai news stories into English. With a background in field journalism, Petch brings several years of experience to the English News desk at The Thaiger. Before joining The Thaiger, Petch worked as a content writer for several known blogging sites in Bangkok, including Happio and The Smart Local. Her articles have been syndicated by many big publishers in Thailand and internationally, including the Daily Mail, The Sun and the Bangkok Post. She is a news writer who stops reading news on the weekends to spend more time cafe hopping and petting dwarf shrimp! But during office hours, you can find Petch on LinkedIn and you can reach her by email at petch@thethaiger.com.

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