Thailand’s national police chief has donated 100,000 baht to support the man in Phuket who was shot and critically wounded by a drunk, off-duty police officer on the island’s Bangla Road, a popular nightlife area in Patong.
Aroon Thongplad, a noodle vendor at the Phuket walking street, was grabbing a bowl from a customer when he was shot in the stomach by Phuket Provincial Police officer Pornthep Channarong just before 6am on February 23.
A video from a surveillance camera shows the 25 year old vendor falling to the ground after being shot. Pornthep then approaches the vendor and fires his gun again at close range. The second bullet appears to have not hit Aroon. He then slapped Aroon in the face, picked up the vendor and pushed him to the ground.
The bullet went through Aroon’s stomach and became lodged in his spine. Doctors at Vachira Phuket Hospital were able to remove the bullet, but Aroon is now paralysed below his waist. He spent months in recovery and was recently discharged from the hospital.
Pornthep was immediately stripped from his rank and discharged from the Royal Thai Police after the shooting. He faces charges for attempted murder, carrying a firearm in a public area without necessary reason, and firing a weapon in a public area. His trial is set for June 28.
A group of police officers visited Aroon’s family home to present the 100,000 baht donation on behalf of national police chief Suwat Jangyodsuk. Many have donated to the family to help with Aroon’s treatment. A donation campaign launched last month raised around 400,000 baht in a week.
Aroon’s 26 year old wife says she has been unable to make an income to support her 4 year old daughter and 6 month old son. She told the Phuket News…
“Aroon still suffers pain in his lungs from surgery and is unable to move or feel the lower part of his body, from his waist to his toes… I have to thank every person for helping me in this hard time. My husband is likely to be disabled for his whole life, but I still have a good hope. If he is healthy, in the future he may go through physical therapy, enabling him to walk again.”
SOURCE: Phuket News
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