KOH SAMUI – Foreign tourists lounging on a Thai paradise beach on the Island of Koh Samui in Surat Thano Province fled in panic after a fatal shootout between two rival jet ski operators.
Th two jet ski opperators had been ferrying holidaymakers out to sea on the packed Koh Samui island when an argument broke out over whose turf it was.
The argument between Soontree Chaipet, 45, and Tinapot Petcharat, 26, who later died in hospital, escalated into a bloody shooting.
CCTV footage showed the moment they opened fire at each other, sending tourists at nearby restaurants running for cover. Police arrived at around 4.30pm to find both men in a pool of blood on the sand.
Horrified onlooker Num Hankit, 30, said: ”I work near the beach and just heard the sound of the guns and came to look.”It’s scary, as anybody could be hit by a bullet.
People are riding jet skis with guns in their pockets. I cannot believe this happening on a beach.
”There were more than 100 foreign tourists standing on the beach. They looked shocked. They have a holiday and people are shooting each other. It’s dangerous.”
The older man was driven to hospital while paramedics performed CPR on Tinapot as tourists in their swimming trunks stood watching in disbelief.
Officers later recovered two weapons, a black 9mm handgun and a smaller silver pistol as well as ammunition on the Chaweng Beach.
Police Major General Apichat Boonsaree from the Bophut station said they believed the reason for the gun fight was a ”business conflict when renting jet skis to customers”.
He added: ”Both sides are involved in the business of renting jet skis on the beach and they took up a duel with each other.
“They were both carrying guns and we understand that they had many arguments with each other before.
By Jay Akbar