Connect with us

North East

Don’t blame the Thai army, blame the soldier – General Apirat



PHOTO: General Apirat clarifies some details and apologises to the families of victims - Thai PBS World

“The army chief offered his condolences to families of those killed and the injured and promised a career in the army if the victims’ children want to join the service.”

The 32 year old gunman who shot 30 people dead during his Saturday afternoon shooting spree in Korat over the weekend, Jakrapanth Thomma, owned legally registered guns. He had five guns – three pistols, one shotgun and a rifle, which were purchased under the Army’s “welfare gun” program. The welfare gun program in Thailand is widely practiced by police, security and armed forces agencies enabling staff to buy weapons at tax-free prices, as low as half the market price.

General Apirat Kongsompong, the Thai Army Commander-in-Chief said yesterday that the program should be scrapped as “there is no need for army officers to have their own guns”.

“Alternatively, the purchase of the guns by army officers must be more tightly controlled and permission to own a personal gun must be granted by an army general, not a colonel.”

According to the Thai army Commander-in-Chief during a media conference yesterday, the gunman used one of his three pistols to kill his commander and his commander’s mother-in-law during a meeting at her house resolve disagreements over an unpaid property brokerage fee.

But the system is flagrantly abused with most guns bought under the program resold to private individuals, at a profit, but the prices would still be lower than market prices. The program also distorts the gun import quotas, where gun dealers are allocated a very limited amount of guns to sell each year, especially handguns.

General Apirat apologised to families of the dead and the injured for the tragic incident committed by an army officer. He described the soldier as a becoming criminal the moment he pulled the trigger.

The army chief explained that, although army special units were sent to the Terminal 21 shopping centre, they were only providing backup to the police specialist ‘Hanuman’ unit who were responsible for entering the mall and searching for the gunman.

The General asked critics not to blame the Thai army merely because the gunman was a serving soldier. He also pleaded for critics not to blame the lax security at the armoury, which allowed the gunman to steal weapons and ammunition.

General Apirat confirmed that the enraged soldier stole an HK33 assault rifle and ammunition from a guard at the army base in Nakhon Ratchasima, stole more weapons and ammunition from the armoury and killed another guard before heading to Terminal 21 in a stolen vehicle. He also confirmed that the vehicle was not a ‘Humvee’ as earlier reported, but a black SUV.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World


Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

If you have story ideas, a restaurant to review, an event to cover or an issue to discuss, contact The Thaiger editorial staff.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Road deaths9 hours ago

Dead woman in car pulled out of Kanchana Buri canal

World9 hours ago

As Iran revolts, president vows to deal with protests

Election10 hours ago

POLL: Top 2 picks for prime minister are “nobody” and Ex-PM’s daughter

China10 hours ago

No word from China on Xi military coup whispers

Pattaya10 hours ago

Intoxicated Pattaya tourist allegedly punches elderly Australian man in face

Thailand11 hours ago

Thai TikTok star detained at Singapore airport over huge amount of cash

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Kanchanaburi12 hours ago

Kanchanaburi school director found dead in canal

Pattaya14 hours ago

Small children in Pattaya learn to get help when locked in hot cars

Chiang Mai14 hours ago

Heavy rains collapse part of Chiang Mai’s ancient city wall

Events15 hours ago

6-hour whiskey drinking contest draws criticism

Pattaya16 hours ago

Pattaya official urges mayor to expand legal nightlife zone

Thailand16 hours ago

Things you can do in Thailand during the rainy season

Indonesia16 hours ago

Earthquake in Indonesia felt throughout southern Thailand

Patong17 hours ago

Foreign women rescued from rip current in Patong

Thailand1 day ago

Woman smashes up her 1.5 million baht car over feud with Ford Thailand

Thailand1 year ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism2 years ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11