CHAMPHON – A father of 2 who felt slighted by his in-laws shot dead six family members including his two young children at a New Year’s Eve party before turning the gun on himself, police said Tuesday.
The mass shooting took place 10 minutes after midnight as Sucheep Sornsung.41 joined his wife’s family to ring in the New Year in the southern province of Chumphon.
Sucheep was “heavily” drunk when he pulled out his pistol at the table in the beauty parlour where the party was being hosted, police said.
“All of the victims were his family members including his nine-year-old son and six-year-old daughter,” said Pol Lt Col Larp Kampapan.
“They were shot either in the head or the torso… he was angry that as the son-in-law he was not being made welcome by his wife’s family.”
The victims were Wichit Nakhlod, 50, Ratchaporn Onmuk, 50, and Ngud Onmuk, 71, among fallen tables and chairs with food and drinks inside the salon and further in the house, found the bodies of Pakamard Onmuk, 47, Chananthida Sornsang, 6, and Kasidit Sornsang, 9.
The brother in-law Thinnakorn Onmuk, 33, said he pretended to be dead after being hit in the stomach while Sucheep went into the bedroom where he committed suicide.
The body of the gunman, Sucheep Sornsang, 41, was found in a bedroom with a single gunshot to the head suggesting he had committed suicide after shooting his relatives dead with a 9mm pistol.
“The (suspect) went to a party with his friends then came home to see his wife’s family and they started arguing before he used his gun to shoot them,” said Pol Maj Gen Saharat Saksilapachai, commander of Chumphon provincial police.
“According to witnesses, the man drank a lot and we suspect that his rage came from old problems with his wife’s family,” Saharat said.
The police chief said Sucheep had a drug-related criminal record and had previously been jailed but there was no history of violence against his family.
Deputy provincial governor Somporn Patchimphetch said Sucheep was released in November from the Nakhon Si Thammarat Prison where he had been jailed for three years for attempted murder. It was reported that he was unemployed, often drunk and had on many occasions threatened to kill the family.
Thailand has high rates of gun ownership and petty personal disputes, romantic and business rivalries are often resolved with bullets.