A police officer in Surat Thani Province, southern Thailand, is suspected of an armed attack on a house in the Khirirat Nikhom district on Saturday that killed four persons.
Provincial Police reported a group of armed individuals attacked a residence in Moo 8 village in Tambon Kapao. Investigators said three suspects were identified as Police Snr Sgt Maj Atthaporn Wichian, 46, his elder brother Mr. Thammarat Wichian, 48, and Manop Mr. Wang-ngan, 57. The fourth suspect has yet to be identified.
Thammarong Nilniyom, 60, the house’s owner; his wife Ms. Nilthip Palakachen, 49; Pornsak Phetchu, 56, a former village chief and another unidentified male were all killed in the attack.
According to Provincial Police, the unnamed suspect was Mr. Thammarat, the elder brother of Pol Snr Sgt Maj Atthaporn.
An investigation and security camera footage, the four suspects arrived at the house in a Toyota Vios at about 1 pm on Saturday. Three of them exited the car: Pol Snr Sgt Maj Atthaporn, his elder brother Mr. Thammarat, and Mr. Manop.
Mr. Manop, the police officer, and the elder brother were each armed with M16 rifles.
Ms. Nilthip was seated when one of the three men fired fire, killing her instantaneously. The 3 then stormed into the house and started firing.
Mr. Thammarong, the house’s owner, and Pornsak were both killed. Mr. Thammarat, one of the attackers, was killed, possibly by one of the victims who had returned fire. When the gunfire stopped, Pol Senior Sgt Maj Atthaporn and Mr. Manop dashed out of the house in a Toyota Vios.
Police Senior Sgt Maj Atthaporn, Mr. Manop, and the Toyota Vios driver are still on the loose. Police were looking for court orders to arrest them on murder accusations.
Neighbors say that Mr. Thammarong’s son-in-law was Pol Snr Sgt Maj Atthaporn. In October 2022, Snr Sgt. Maj Atthaporn divorced his former wife and married Ms. Panida, Thammarong’s sole daughter, who divorced her prior spouse in mid-2022.
Thammarong was said to despise Pol Snr Sgt Maj Atthaporn and sought to end their marriage, putting the two at odds. The armed attack was thought to be motivated by the conflict. Provincial police said that the probe was still ongoing.
Police Misused Seized Vehicle
Meanwhile, Thailand’s National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has asked the Royal Thai Police (RTP) to look into a case in which a police officer in Rayong confiscated a vehicle as evidence, but instead of storing it in a lot, the car was driven 1,700 km in six months.
NHRC Commissioner Wasan Paileeklee told the Bangkok Post that the agency received a complaint from a car owner in March alleging that his vehicle had been used illegally by officers at Rayong Provincial officers Station since October 2019.
Mr Wasan stated that the man’s automobile was confiscated as evidence and then released to the victim when a disposition was granted by the Rayong Provincial Court.
Before handing over the automobile to the police, the man photographed the odometer and its condition.
“However, the victim discovered that the odometer showed an additional 1,700km travelled during the six-month seizure.” Furthermore, the two front seat cushions had been changed, the battery had been removed, and the victim had received parking citations totaling 500 baht each month,” Mr Wasan explained.
The car’s model, color, and license plate were noted in Rayong police records in May 2020. It was afterwards housed in a private yard where officers routinely stash automobiles used as evidence.
The removal of the car batteries and cushions, according to Mr Wasan, was a violation of private property and the police storage policy.
The NHRC requested that the RTP headquarters form a committee to investigate the situation. Mr Wasan stated that if officers misused the car, the victim must be compensated.