PHUKET: The man who opened fire in a Phuket pub early this morning, killing one person and injuring four others, is a soldier and will be handed over to the Military Police to face a court martial in Narathiwat tomorrow morning.
The news was confirmed by Deputy Commissioner of Region 8 Police Pisan Chuldilok, who arrived in Phuket this afternoon to personally oversee the handling of the case.
“We will continue our investigation into this as a murder case, but we will look into his claims of acting in self-defense,” Maj Gen Pisan said.
Regardless, Sgt Wisut Duongkaew, 27, will be charged with possession of his Army-issued gun when not on active duty, he added.
Sgt Wisut is stationed at the 1st Infantry Battalion Camp in Joh-Irong District, in his home province of Narathiwat.
Joh-Irong is renowned as one of the hot spots in Thailand’s troubled Deep South.
Officers explained to the Gazette that the shooting ended an argument between Sgt Wisut and the five people shot.
One of the men with the group of five apparently “accidentally” bumped into the table where Sgt Wisut was sitting with five female friends, all friends of his girlfriend.
The man allegedly slammed his hand down on the table before apologizing and stumbling back to his own table to rejoin his friends.
As the staff were collecting the bills to close the bar, a war of words broke out between Sgt Wisut and the four men, police said.
One of the men allegedly walked over and smashed a bottle over Sgt Wisut’s head, before his three male friends joined the attack, police quoted Sgt Wisut as saying.
That’s when Sgt Wisut pulled out his gun and opened fire, police said.
— Atchaa Khamlo
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