Teen shooters arrested in Phuket

PHUKET: The drive-by shooting that left a 19-year-old dead on the streets of Phuket Town on December 29 was a mistaken hit, the shooters have confessed to police.

Police arrested two teens, given the pseudonyms “Joey”, 15, and “James”, 16, in a house near Kathu Temple yesterday for the shooting death of Chalong Netphetdang, 19, originally named by police as Patchara Tipneth, 18 (story here).

The pair were tracked down by Lt Col Somsak Thongkliang of the Phuket City Police and his team through CCTV footage and after questioning relatives and friends of the suspects.

The teens were found at the house of Abdullar Masalae, 25.

“After gaining permission to search the premises, we located clothing and a motorbike that matched those seen in CCTV footage. Additionally, we found a .38 homemade handgun and six rounds of ammunition,” Col Somsak said.

“Joey confessed to being the driver, and James explained that he was the shooter.”

The pair told police that they had mistaken Mr Chalong as a rival gang member attempting to overtake their motorbike.

Mr Abdullar, from Pattani, was charged for the possession of an illegal firearm and ammunition.

“Joey and James both face premeditated murder charges,” confirmed Col Somsak.

— Kritsada Mueanhawong

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