Video Report: Phuket rush-hour shooter surrenders to police, claims self-defence

PHUKET: The killer who gunned down a man in rush-hour traffic last Thursday has surrendered himself to Phuket police, claiming he shot the victim in self-defence.

Suwat Sae-jong, 62, was taken to the scene at the Wor Kor Intersection near Phuket Rajabhat University yesterday to re-enact the fatal shooting, under the protection of about 50 police officers.

Mr Suwat acted out the incident, in which he shot dead Chaliaw Piyapanikul, 47, after the two became embroiled in an altercation over Mr Chaliaw attempting to overtake Mr Suwat on his motorbike (story here). Mr Chaliaw was with his 11-year-old son at the time.

“Mr Chaliaw cut me off on his motorcycle near the intersection. Once we reached a stop, I yelled over at him and told him that he ‘was crazy’. He shouted back at me, telling me that I was crazy, as he got off his motorbike,” Mr Suwat explained.

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“I warned him that if he came near me I would shoot him, but he still walked toward me. I shot him three times in self-defence before I took off on my bike.”

Mr Suwat then led police to a banana grove off Trang Road in Phuket Town, where he dumped his handgun after the shooting.

He explained to police that he was on the way home to Thalang to drop off the weapon when the fight occurred.

Mr Suwat also confessed to police that he lost his temper during the argument, leading to him using his gun to shoot shoot Mr Chaliaw.

“I am glad that police have taken the shooter into custody,” said Kanya Piyapanikul, Mr Chaliaw’s widow. “I would like him to face trial. People who cannot control their emotions are a danger to society.

“Cutting someone off in traffic should not end up like this… This incident has greatly affected my son, as it happened right in front of him. He is not coping well with the loss of his father. It is going to take time before he starts to heal.”

Mr Suwat has been charged with murder and for carrying a firearm in public without a licence.

He has been denied police bail and is being held at Phuket City Police Station.

— Kritsada Mueanhawong

Phuket News

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