Two survive family “wipeout’ attempt

SAKOO: Police are investigating two possible motives for the shooting attack that left two rubber tappers dead and a third critically injured high in the Layan hills on Friday afternoon.

Tah Chat Chai Police Inspector Somkid Khaosang identified the two deceased as Suppachai Nuan-eung and Boonrit Inthong.

Both men were found dead at their hillside home, located off Layan Rd in Sakoo Village 4, in Thalang.

Mr Suppachai, had been shot once in the head. Mr Boonrit, his uncle, was found lying next to him. He had been shot once in the neck and once in the back.

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The gruesome discovery was make by Laddawan Chopthamkit, who police identified as Suppachai’s wife, when she returned from the local market.

Ms Laddawan also found their friend and neighbor Teerapat Petprom on a back porch moaning from a gunshot wound to the head from a bullet that had entered through his cheek.

Officers responding to Ms Laddawan’s call were dispatched from both Tah Chat Chai and Cherng Talay police stations as the scene of the crime is on the border of their jurisdictional areas.

Also making their way to the remote home, located five kilometers up a winding dirt road, were special investigators led by Pol Col Sakchai Limcharoen, chief of the Phuket-based Police Forensics Unit 44.

They collected evidence at the scene but little information has been released, including the caliber of the bullets used.

Accompanying police were rescue workers from the Kusoldharm Foundation, who rushed Mr Teerapat to Thalang Hospital for treatment.

Ms Laddawan told police that her family had moved to the area from Trang about three years ago to work the plantation.

When she left for the market, Suppachai and Boonrit were doing work around the home and their neighbor Teerapat had stopped by to visit, she told police.

Ms Laddawan said she had no idea who might have been responsible for the attack as her family had never caused anyone any trouble. She also reported a gold necklace and some cash missing.

Col Sakchai said that the execution was probably carried out by no fewer than five assailants who had targeted the entire family.

Ms Laddawan probably survived because she happened to be away when the attackers arrived, he added.

The failed attempt on Mr Teerapat’s life might have been made to silence him as a potential witness, he said.

The murder might have been ordered by an influential person as a way of threatening a business rival over a land dispute, he said.

Another possible motive was that the assassination was a revenge killing carried out by enemies from Trang, who might have finally tracked them down after they left that province three years ago, he said.

Officers are continuing their investigation and hope to bring the assassins to justice, Lt Col Somkid said.

Phuket News
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