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Phuket police officer charged with attempted murder for shooting and critically injuring a noodle vendor

Caitlin Ashworth



PHOTO: Siamrath

The drunk, off-duty police officer in Phuket who has caught on camera shooting and beating a noodle vendor on Bangla Road is now facing attempted murder charges as well as charges of carrying a firearm in public without a necessary reason and firing a weapon in a public area. The commander of the Phuket police station said he ordered investigators to prosecute the officer Pornthep Channarong with every criminal charge that can be applied.

The officer had gotten into an altercation just before dawn yesterday and shot a young vendor who was walking by. Surveillance camera footage show the 25 year old suddenly falling to the ground after being shot. The officer walks up and shoots the vendor at a close range, but it appears the second shot did not hit the vendor. The officer also slapped the vendor in the face, picked him up and shoved him over, and then kicked him as he lay on the ground.

The vendor has a 4 year old daughter and 3 month old son. His wife says normally he works as a motorbike driver, but he was helping his mother selling noodles. He was shot while he was walking back from collecting a noodle bowl, she says. The vendor is in critical condition and being cared for at Vachira Phuket Hospital’s intensive care unit. He’s in need of Type B blood.

“For his condition, the doctor told me that the bullet went through his lung. He lost a lot of blood. We need a lot of Type B blood for him.”

A disciplinary investigation into the incident was launched by police and Pornthep was officially dismissed from the Royal Thai Police force. Region 8 Police Commander Kitrat Panpetch says the incident does not reflect the police force in Phuket.

“The incident was caused by an officer who did something wrong that our organisation does not want. We are a big organisation with more than 200,000 officers under our control. Our officers are not all bad like this.”

Phuket Provincial Police Commander Pornsak Nuannu says he has reminded the police chiefs across the island to discuss reasons for carrying firearms in public.

“Carrying firearms is to prevent any type of crime that may happen, not to commit a crime by themselves like this incident. If I see any police doing such a thing, I will decisively proceed in terms of both officer discipline and criminal charges.”

SOURCE: Phuket News


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  1. Avatar


    Wednesday, February 24, 2021 at 6:08 pm

    Give Police Commander Pornsak Nuannu his due in showing leadership and setting an example. Finally, positive action by the police against a police officer alleged to have committed a crime, that did not include being transferred and given admin duties. Now lets see actual justice being served. I hope the victim recovers his health.

    • Avatar


      Thursday, February 25, 2021 at 12:48 am

      Fully agree.

  2. Avatar


    Wednesday, February 24, 2021 at 7:08 pm

    It’s refreshing to justtifiably see corrective action being taken by the police against one of their own in a timely manner. In the USA it would take months or even years and the police union would somehow save the perpetrator’s job. Even in an open and shut case with video. Years ago before smart phones the police would just lie and it would be over without any justice. I hope the victim is compensated for this terrible crime against him.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Wednesday, February 24, 2021 at 8:30 pm

      I doubt that even in the US this could be dealt with any differently given the publicity.

      The same thing can’t be said for Police Captain Akarawin Taechaubul, aka “Hi-So Jimmy”, who “fled the scene” after allegedly killing a fishball seller in a hit and run four months ago.

  3. Avatar

    Jack Sombra

    Wednesday, February 24, 2021 at 10:06 pm

    While this is good response (so far, lets wait to see if actually gets serious jail time) how about rules for police to not carry guns while off duty and 150% not carrying them while out drinking?

  4. Avatar


    Wednesday, February 24, 2021 at 10:35 pm

    A new sheriff in town. Wyatt Earb said let’s clean up our own store before we go to clean up there store,

    • Avatar

      albert zweistein

      Thursday, February 25, 2021 at 1:09 am

      Earp I think.

  5. Avatar

    Andy W

    Wednesday, February 24, 2021 at 10:40 pm

    A Thai police officer being genuinely punished for doing wrong should not be headline news.
    Unfortunately because it happens so rarely it is headline news…

  6. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Wednesday, February 24, 2021 at 10:44 pm

    Is this Thai copper locked up or out on Bail?
    Not clear.
    Let us see if any penalty is imposed – I doubt it.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Wednesday, February 24, 2021 at 11:32 pm

      Obviously he’ll be (and is) “locked up”.

      He’s a low-ranking policeman (ex-policeman) who was already being transferred to another division away from Phuket prior to the incident.

      Given the publicity and CCTV, already spread across the media, the only thing shocking about this is that anyone should be surprised – even you, Toby.

  7. Avatar


    Thursday, February 25, 2021 at 1:39 am

    Hopefully the thaiger will continue to report this news. It seems the local news in phuket are turning a blind eye and not making a big issue about it. When it comes to police commiting crime, Thailand has a record for not upholding the law.

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Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

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