Connect with us


Phuket gunfight survivors yet to deliver police statements

Legacy Phuket Gazette



PHUKET: One of the two survivors of the gunfight on March 20, which left two dead and a Tourist Police officer charged with murder, has given police his version of the shooting but has not identified the shooter.

Natthapong Kaewkuanchum, 25, was shot three times in the chest in the early morning of March 20, and is in the surgical ward at Vachira Phuket Hospital.

Phuket City Police investigators questioned him about what transpired in the room at the Phuket Garden Ville housing estate early on the morning of March 20 (story here).

“He told us that on that night he was sleeping in the room when a loud bang woke him up. As he was getting up, he was shot,” Phuket City Police chief Col Sermphan Sirikong told the Phuket Gazette.

“We asked who shot him. He did not answer. We showed him a picture of Sen Sgt Maj Pinchai and asked whether he was the shooter.”

“Mr Natthapong thought for a while and then closed his eyes. He did not answer our question,” Col Sermphan said.

“We did not ask him any more questions about the incident, such as why he was in the room or what his friends were doing before they were shot.

“We did not ask because we noticed he was not ready. He looked very tired and was still in bad condition,” he explained.

“We have to come back to question him later when he has recovered more,” he stated.

The other survivor, Sen Sgt Maj Pinchai Piyadilok of the Tourist Police, was shot in the stomach and leg during the gunfight and transferred to Prince of Songkla University Hospital in Haad Yai, where his wounded leg was amputated (story here).

“Our officers will question him soon,” Col Sermphan said.

On March 21, the day after the shootings, Sgt Pinchai was charged with murder “as a precaution”, Col Sermphan told the Gazette, adding, “He has been charged because we believe that he was somehow involved in the incident, but at this stage we just don’t know how.”

Nearly a week later, the police are still unsure what transpired when Sgt Pinchai entered his neighbor’s room.

“Right now we still cannot say whether Sgt Pinchai overreacted, because Mr Natthapong is our only witness,” Tourist Police Division 5 Superintendent Yotsavee Pornperaparn told the Gazette.

“We need to investigate further before determining who is right and who is wrong… For example, maybe Sen Sgt Maj Pinchai entered the room and saw those people using drugs. If he ordered them to stop and they stopped but he still shot them, then he was certainly wrong.

“However, if he ordered them to stop but they did not and tried fighting back, then he might have been trying to protect himself. If this was the case, he might not be in the wrong,” Col Yotsavee explained.

When contacted by the Gazette, Phuket’s top-ranking police officer, Provincial Commander Choti Chavalviwat, acknowledged that Sgt Pinchai had been charged with murder and attempted murder, but said the survivors could not currently be questioned.

“Sgt Pinchai and Mr Natthapong are not in good enough condition to give us their statements now. We have to question them again later,” Maj Gen Choti said.

“If Mr Natthapong was not trying to resist but Sgt Pinchai shot him anyway, then Sgt Pinchai will be prosecuted. If Mr Natthapong resisted Sgt Pinchai as he (Pinchai) tried to do his job, we will press charges against Mr Natthapong,” he added.

“We will be fair to each side,” he stated.

“Every policeman is expected to be able to control his temper in terms of gun use. He must realize that he is a law protector, not a law breaker. The most important duty of a policeman is to obey the law,” he said.

— Orawin Narabal


Want more Thailand news from the Thaiger family?

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📝️ Join the conversation on Thaiger Talk - discuss news & life in our Thailand forums
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates


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.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Thailand5 mins ago

Man wanted for attempted murder arrested on train

Thailand36 mins ago

The list of high/medium/low risk countries for travelling to Thailand now

World1 hour ago

Rare, giant barking deer makes appearance in Cambodia

Phuket Sandbox July 1st


Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in July - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages in June!

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Coronavirus (Covid-19)1 hour ago

Anutin says health system won’t collapse despite shortages

World2 hours ago

Fire at Chinese martial arts school kills 18, mainly kids

Thailand3 hours ago

Man allegedly steals almost 300,000 baht from monk

Thailand4 hours ago

Illegal cigarette shipment busted, valued at 30 million baht

Thailand5 hours ago

Pair arrested for allegedly stealing prepaid phone cards worth 240 million baht, take home almost 150

Best of6 hours ago

Top 5 Indian Restaurants in Bangkok

Phuket6 hours ago

A Korean restaurant catches fire at a Phuket shopping centre

Best of7 hours ago

Top 10 Provinces to visit in Thailand

Coronavirus (Covid-19)7 hours ago

Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine approved for emergency use in Thailand

World7 hours ago

1 dead 99 unaccounted for in Florida building collapse

World7 hours ago

Airlines participate in trials of IATA Travel Pass app

Best of7 hours ago

Top 8 Street Foods in Thailand

Thailand4 months ago

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

Tourism4 months ago

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

Phuket4 months ago

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

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand4 months ago

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

Tourism4 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8