BREAKING: 2 victims shot on a Phuket minibus, gunman refuses to surrender

A deranged gunman shot a male and female passenger on a Phuket-Phattalung minibus at 6.49am today. The assailant remains inside the minibus, currently surrounded by police officers attempting to negotiate a peaceful surrender.

According to a report on Channel 3, the incident happened just after the Phuket-Phattalung minibus departed from the bus terminal. The bus travelled about 1 kilometre when the gunman opened fire and started shooting passengers as the vehicle arrived at the Kuan Din Daeng curve on Thep Krasatthee Road in the Koh Kaew sub-district of Phuket.

A man and woman were shot and taken to hospital. Nearly 10 passengers and the driver escaped the minibus and the gunfire.

The 39 year old minibus driver, Somyot Buakaew, reported that he heard a shooting sound and then a female passenger ran to him screaming for help, saying, “I got shot!”

Somyot said he was parking the vehicle on the roadside when the gunman shot another male passenger.

The gunman, who was reported to about 30 years old, is still inside the minibus. Police officers rushed to the scene and closed the road. They are now trying to convince the gunman to surrender.

The shooting frightened people in the area and also Thai netizens as it recalled the losses from the mass shooting at a nursery in Nong Bua Lamphu last year.

The gunman, a 34 year old former police officer, Panya Khamrap, killed 38 people, including 24 children, 12 adults, himself, and his family members.

Some people pointed the finger of blame at the gun possession laws in Thailand, as Panya still had a right to possess guns even though he was fired from the Royal Thai Police before the incident.

Several shootings have been reported this year with illegal guns. This is not the first and won’t be the last until the government introduce harsher penalties and stricter regulation on the possession of guns in Thailand.

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Petch Petpailin

Petpailin, or Petch, is a Thai translator and writer for The Thaiger focusing on Thai news and what's happening in Thailand. She is a news writer who stops reading news on the weekends to spend more time cafe hopping and petting dwarf shrimp.