BANGKOK – The Royal Thai Police have been examining security-camera foot-age to determine whether actor Porames Singpho’s shooting of his business partner was accidental, as claimed by him, an informed source said yesterday.
The video recording appeared to tell a different story, according to the source, who was familiar with the police investigation into the case.
The Channel 3 actor shot his friend and business partner Noppadol Athibai, 44, at close range following a dispute in a parking lot in Bangkok’s Soi Thong Lor 8 on Thursday. The man was rushed to a hospital with a severe head wound and was later pronounced dead.
Shortly after the incident, Porames surrendered to police with his 9mm pistol. He told police the shooting was accidental and that it took place while he and the victim were wrestling for the gun.
Police initially charged Porames with attempted murder, possessing a firearm without permission, and carrying it in a public place. He was later released on Bt200,000 bail as Noppadol, who sustained a gunshot in the head, succumbed to his fatal injury. Police will now charge Porames with murder.
Thong Lor investigator Pol Lt-Colonel Saravuth Dechsri yesterday said the 33-year-old actor had not returned the police’s calls and text messages.
Saravuth said Porames was scheduled to report himself to police on February 5. By that time, police could notify him of the additional charge of premeditated murder and increase his bail amount.
The officer declined to give details of the CCTV footage, which the source alleged might reveal the shooting wasn’t “accidental”. He said the police had interviewed two security guards, a woman who had come with the deceased and another woman who had come with Porames. Only Porames’s sister was yet to give testimony.
He said the guards testified that they saw Porames flee, holding a gun, so police initially charged him accordingly. He said police should have the results of the ballistic and gunpowder tests by January 21.
The shooting raised questions about the appropriateness of carrying a gun on a night out in town. The Crime Reporters’ Association yesterday reported that there were 485 licensed gun shops in Thailand, 367 of them in Bangkok. The gun shops had sold 240,000 pistol bullets and 1,067,664 shotgun bullets from 2007-2010.
As of 2011, 3.67 million pistols and 2.45 million rifles had been registered for personal possession. A total of 6.12 million guns were registered, or one gun for every 10 Thais, according to the association. – by Khanathit Srihirundaj,Noppadol Srithaweekard