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Off-duty officers killed in Saturday shootout



PHUKET: Two police officers are dead following an off-duty shootout in Phuket Town in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Col Peerayuth Karajedee of Phuket City Police reported that officers were arguing with each other outside the Huapan bar, near the Seahorse Circle in town.

According to witnesses, Kathu police officer Lance Corporal Wongsathorn Theparan, 21, visited the venue with four friends, on the evening of May 10.

“When they arrived at the venue, Sen Sgt Maj Nantachai Ponoi, of Phuket Airport Immigration, who was moonlighting at the bar as a security guard, checked the mens’ IDs,” Col Peerayuth said. “Around 12:30am, L/C Wongsathorn and friends were leaving the venue, when they reportedly saw Sen Sgt Maj Nantachai in a bad mood.

“Sgt Maj Nantachai slapped L/C Wongsathorn, after which L/C Wongsathorn took a gun from his vehicle and attempted to pistol-whip Sgt Maj Nantachai, but accidentally fired his gun in the process. He then fled back to his vehicle.”

“However, Lt Thammarong Suwannachatree of Phuket City Police and his two friends heard the gunshot, and sprinted out of Sau-Ueng restaurant,” Col Peerayuth told the Gazette.

L/C Wongsathorn then shot Lt Thammarong three times. As he fell to the ground, Lt Thammarong shot back, wounding L/C Wongsathorn. Lt Thammarong’s friends then seized L/C Wongsathorn’s gun and reported the incident to Phuket City Police,” Col Peerayuth explained.

“At the scene, L/C Wongsathorn’s Isuzu pickup truck was parked with three bullet holes in it. There was blood on the seat,” Col Peerayuth said.

“Lt Thamamrong was rushed to Vachira Hospital Phuket, but died soon after arrival due to massive blood loss from three bullet wounds in his torso.

L/C Wongsathorn, who was also sent to Vachira Hospital with gunshot wounds to his torso, died about 12 hours later, around 12:40pm on Saturday.

Sgt Maj Nantachai was treated for minor injuries sustained in the scuffle.

— Kritsada Mueanhawong


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