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Suspect in Phuket Town shooting surrenders

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PHUKET: One of the perpetrators involved in the Phuket Town slaying of a hill-tribe woman surrendered to Phuket City Police on Saturday.

Police are reporting that the man claimed he was only the driver and knew nothing about the shooting before the gun was fired.

On July 8, two suspects shot a woman in the head in a souvenir shop on Phang Nga Road at about 4am (story here).

The Phuket Gazette has confirmed that the victim was a hilltribe woman, a non-Thai citizen from Chiang Mai, named Wenlang Sae-Lee. The 22-year-old was found lying in a pool of blood after being hit by a 9mm bullet above her left eyebrow.

After examining CCTV footage, police identified the suspects as Wuthipong Janduang, 41, and Mongkol Rakmuean, 29.

A court issued warrants the for the arrest of the pair on July 22, charging them with murder, attempted murder, illegal possession of a firearm, carrying a firearm in public without permission, and property damage.

The next day, Mr Wuthipong surrendered at the Phuket City police station.

“Mr Wuthipong said he did not know about the shooting, said Lt Col Naruebadin Pangleesen of the Phuket City Police. “Before the incident, Mr Wuthipong said Mr Mongkol came to pick him up, but they switched positions shortly afterward. Mr Mongkol then told him to drive to the shop and shot into its entrance.”

“After taking him home, Mr Mongkol disappeared,” the policeman added.

Police said they are still searching for Mr Mongkol and are exploring possible motives behind the shooting.

“We initially have three hypotheses: a conflict in black market business, a conflict over the souvenir shop, or a love conflict,” said Col Naruebadin.

— Kritsada Mueanhawong

 

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