CHIANG RAI – Deputy Police Chief, Pol Colonel Pasawee Chotethianchaiwat, has told Thai media that police believed the attack on a Village Headman and his family was planned, as the gunmen apparently surveyed the landscape before choosing their shooting angle.
Pol Colonel Pasawee said the attackers must have chosen to hide behind large trees on a hill.
“We have not yet spoken to the surviving victims as they are still being treated in Hospital. Police haven’t released information on which hospital Mr. Thaweesak and his son were being treated due to fears for their safety.
The attack seriously injured Thaweesak Yodmaneebanphot, president of the Hmong Club of Thailand and the kamnan of Tambon Por in Chiang Rai’s Wiang Kaen district, and his three-year-old son. His wife and their five-year-old daughter were killed.
Police yesterday found spent casings of at least two types of gun: an AK47 assault rifle and a shotgun.
According to the ongoing police investigation, Thaweesak was heading back home with his family when someone opened fire on their pickup at about 5pm on Tuesday.
Thaweesak is a prominent local leader in the border zone between Thailand and Laos. He has long spoken up for the rights to land for the landless locals in Wiang Kaen and Thoeng districts He has also fought against investors’ encroachment on forestland.