On Monday night, an agitated pickup driver fired a “threatening gun shot” at the driver of a six-wheel truck in Samut Prakan, killing a passing motorcycle rider who was taking his girlfriend to the hospital.
Supakorn Chankhati, 24, was shot in the right side of his skull while riding his motorcycle to the hospital with his girlfriend at 7 p.m. on Bang Phli-Tamru Road in tambon Bang Poo Mai.
Rescue crews took him to a local hospital, where he died from his gun shot injury.
Bang Poo police chief Pol Col Pisut Chansuwan said CCTV footage led police to arrest Burapa Jiamyu, 26, in a housing complex on Soi Mangkorn Road around 9.30 p.m. on Monday. The individual allegedly acknowledged to the shooting.
Mr Burapa claimed he was driving an ice delivery vehicle when he became enraged by the behavior of a six-wheel truck driver on Bang Phli-Tamru Road. They had a fight at a gas station. When Mr Burapa pulled a gun, the truck driver retreated and drove away, brandishing a steel bar.
According to police, the pickup driver acknowledged to overtaking, stopping front of the six-wheeler, and firing a gunshot.
Mr. Burapa claimed he simply intended to fire a threatening gun shot, but the bullet struck a passing biker. He had stolen the gun from a teenage neighbor before dropping it after the incident.
Sudarat Singruang, the victim’s 23-year-old girlfriend, said she had a stomachache and that Supakorn was transporting her on his motorcycle to the hospital on his motorcycle. Supakorn slumped in front of her after hearing a gunshot. Fortunately, she was able to manage and stop the motorcycle by reaching around him.
She had no idea why he would have been shot. They had no disagreements with anyone. She also claimed to have seen the alleged shooter at the site.
Gun Violence in Thailand
This tragedy exposed even more disturbing statistics, including the country’s high position for gun violence and possession. It also reignited the debate over gun regulations.
According to the World Population Review website, Thailand presently ranks 15th among countries with the largest number of gun-related deaths, and second in Southeast Asia.
Brazil, the United States, Mexico, India, and Columbia have the highest number of gun-related deaths, whereas the Philippines has the highest number of deaths in the ASEAN area.
While it appears that gun violence and mass shootings are on the rise, Southeast Asia has less gun violence than other continents. Gun violence is significantly more prevalent in the Americas.
Gun violence and homicides in Southeast Asia are also on the decline, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). As a result, recent mass shootings in Thailand, both in Nong Bua Lam Phu and Nakhon Ratchasima in 2020, are deemed “unusual” for the region.
“Despite being appalling and tragic, we are not at levels seen on other continents in Southeast Asia and Thailand,” said Julien Garsany, UNODC’s Deputy Regional Representative for Southeast Asia and the Pacific.
Julien adds that the availability of guns, both legal and illegal, is the key reason Thailand has the highest gun possession rate among ASEAN countries. Such weapons are also widely available on the illegal market and online.
Thailand has the biggest number of guns in private hands among ASEAN member countries, according to the Small Arms Survey (SAS) in 2017.
There were 6,221,180 lawfully registered guns of the 10,342,000 total guns documented, with the remainder being illegal. This means that 15 out of every 100 Thais own a firearm.
The UNODC representative also stated that the majority of illegal firearms in Thailand came from border trafficking. This signifies that the country is experiencing internal turmoil and instability.
“For example, on the borders with Malaysia, Cambodia, and Myanmar, we can see these flows of firearms going both ways, making it easier to acquire them.” When there is insecurity, firearms are certainly more readily available.”