Latest: Popcorn shooter confesses to firing weapon at Lak Si. Earlier: Arrest made in Surat Thani 24-year-old Phitsanulok native Vivat Yodprasert, nicknamed the "popcorn gunman", one of four suspects, to be arrested for attempted murder & other violations.
The so-called "popcorn bag gunman" photographed as he fired during the Feb 1 gunfight. (Reuters photo)
Vivat Yodprasert, 24, at the press conference this morning. TAWATCHAI KHEMGUMNERD
Thai police held a press conference this morning in which Vivat Yodprasert, 24, the so-called "popcorn gunman" confessed that he was the man seen shooting a rifle through a popcorn bag at the Lak Si intersection. He said that he fired about twenty rounds with no particular target in sight. He said he was a PDRC guard and was paid 300 baht per day. He is held on a serious of weapons-related charges and police say they will oppose bail.
Here is more from our online reporters:
The suspect said he was approached by a friend, who went by the name Men, to work as a security guard for the anti-government People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) in exchange for a daily compensation of 300 baht.
"The gun that I used at the Laksi shooting was an M16 and I got it from another PDRC guard at the Chaeng Watthana rally site. He taught me how to use the gun. However, I had never used weapons and never created violence before the Lak Si incident.
"On that day (Feb 1), I received a radio signal from another guard to come out and protect Luang Pu Buddha Isara (one of the protest leaders and a monk) and prevent the protest site from being taken over.
"I shot about 20 rounds but I don't know who hired me," Mr Vivat said.
A popcorn bag was used to conceal the M16 and to collect spent bullet shells, he said.
The shooter suspect said he returned the gun to one of the PDRC guards and went into hiding in his friends' houses following the Laksi shooting.
17:10 Wednesday 19/03/2014
"Popcorn Gunman" arrested
Reports are just coming in that Thai police have arrested the so-called "Popcorn gunman" in Surat Thani. Pol.Lt.Gen. Winai Thongsong said Vivat Yodprasert, 24, put up no resistance while being arrested. He is currently being brought back to Bangkok.
Post Today reports that the arrest was made at a market in the province at about 2pm this afternoon. Vivat had apparently been hiding at the house of the wife of a relative, who was said to be the chief guard at the Chaeng Wattana rally site. Protesters there were involved in the Lak Si incident where Vivat was alleged to have been active. A press conference is expected later this evening.
Arrest warrant for 'popcorn gunman'
Image of Popcorn gunman posted on an official Facebook. Royal Thai Police page.
The Criminal Court has approved an arrest warrant for a suspect known among demonstrators as the "popcorn gunman" over a shooting at Laksi intersection on the eve of the Feb 2 general election.
Thung Song Hong police station presented the court with evidence to support its application for approval to arrest Vivat Yodprasert, according to information posted on Policespokesmen Facebook. The 24-year-old suspect is a native of Phitsanulok's Nokhon Thai district.
The police sought arrest warrants for four suspects, but the court approved only a warrant for Mr Vivat and instructed police to gather more evidence to support the application for warrants for the other three.
Mr Vivat will be charged with attempted murder, owning and carrying a gun and ammunition in public without permission, and violation of the emergency decree prohibiting the carrying of a gun outside his own residence.
The shooter was nicknamed the "popcorn gunman" because the gun he fired was concealed inside a popcorn bag, which also collected the spent bullet shells.
The details of Vivat Yodprasert as disclosed by the police.
Wounded and terrorised bystanders try to escape and dodge the gunfire from the "popcorn bag" gunman and other so-called "security guards" in the Feb 1 gunfight. (Photos by Apichit Jinakul)
Learn from listening
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ammunition: bullets, bombs, etc that can be fired from a weapon - อาวุธยุทธภัณฑ์, ลูกกระสุน
apparently: based only on what you have heard or think, not on what you are certain is true; seemingly - ตามที่ได้รู้มา
application: a formal request for permission to do or have something - การขอ
approach: to move toward someone and speak to them about something - เข้าหา
approval: official permission - การอนุมัต
approved: given official agreement or permission - ได้รับการรับรองแล้ว
arrest: (of the police or, in this case, soldiers) to take someone under control because they are believed to have committed a crime - จับกุม
arrest warrant: a document signed by a judge allowing police to arrest someone - หมายจับ
attempt: when a person tries to do something or achieve some goal, makes an effort to do it - ความพยายาม
bail: money that is given to a court when someone is allowed to stay out of prison until their trial. If they do not return for the trial, the court keeps the money - เงินประกัน; การประกันตัว
bullet: a small, metal object that is shot from a gun - กระสุนปืน
bystander: a person who is standing near and watching something that is happening but is not taking part in it - ผู้เห็นเหตุการณ์, ผู้สังเกตการณ์
charge: to accuse someone officially of committing a crime - ตั้งข้อกล่าวหา
charge : an official statement accusing someone of committing a crime - ข้อกล่าวหา
collect: to gather together a group/set/amount of things, often of the same sort - สะสม, เก็บรวบรวม
compensation: payment for work or service -
conceal: to hide something - ซุก ซ่อน
confess: to admit that you have committed a crime - สารภาพผิด
court: the place where legal trials take place and where crimes, etc. are judged - ศาล
Criminal Court: a court which hears criminal cases, i.e., cases where people are accused of breaking a law and where punishment involves going to jail. - ศาลอาญา
detail: the small facts or features of something - รายละเอียด, ส่วนเล็กๆ น้อยๆ, ส่วนย่อย
disclose: to give information to people - เปิดเผย
dodge: to avoid someone, especially someone who is trying to stop you - หลบหลีก
election (n): the process of choosing a person or a group of person for a position, especially by voting - การเลือกตั้ง
emergency decree: a situation where the government takes on special powers in a dangerous situation and the rights of the people are often limited in some way - ประกาศภาวะฉุกเฉิน
escape: to get away from a place where you are in danger - หนี
eve: the day before - ช่วงค่ำก่อนวัน(งาน)
evidence: facts statements or objects that help to prove whether or not someone has committed a crime - หลักฐาน
fire: to shoot a weapon - ยิง
gunfight: when two groups fight by shooting at each other - การยิงต่อสู้กัน การดวลปืน
gunman: a hired killer; a person hired to kill with a gun; a hitman - มือปืน
in public: when other people, especially people you do not know, are present; in full view of other people - ต่อสาธารณะ, ต่อชุมชน
incident: something that happens, usually something bad - เหตุการณ์
instruct: to tell somebody to do something, especially in a formal or official way - สั่ง
intersection: a place where roads, lines, etc., join or cross each other - สี่แยก
murder: the crime of intentionally killing a person - ฆาตกรรม
native: someone who was born in a particular place - ชาวพื้นเมือง
nickname: an informal name for someone or something, especially a name which you are called by your friends or family, usually based on your proper name or your character - ชื่อเล่น
official: done by people in authority or decided by the government; announced publicly - เป็นทางการ
PDRC: People's Democratic Reform Committee, an anti-government protest group, headed by Suthep Thuagsuban - กปปส. คณะกรรมการประชาชนเพื่อการเปลี่ยนแปลงประเทศไทยให้เป็นประชาธิปไตยที่สมบูรณ์ อันมีพระมหากษัตริย์ทรงเป็นประมุข.
permission: allowing someone to do something - การอนุญาต,การอนุมัติ,การยินยอม
popcorn: a popular snack food made from corn heated until it gets big and "pops" - ข้าวโพดคั่ว, เมล็ดข้าวโพดที่ฝานออกจากซังแล้วคั่วให้แตก
post: to send information, in this case, to a website -
press conference: an official meeting where someone makes a formal statement about a particular issue or event to journalists and answers their questions about it - การแถลงข่าว
prohibit: to not allow; to ban - ห้าม
residence: a place where someone lives - ที่พำนัก ที่อาศัย
resistance: a refusal to accept something or allow it to happen - การต่อต้าน, การขัดขืน
round: a bullet or a shot that is fired from a weapon - นัด(กระสุน) ชุดยิง
security guard: a person who checks people's bags or watches over a building at night to make things safe - ยาม, คนเฝ้าสถานที่ หรือระวังเหตุการณ์ตามกำหนดเวลา; ผู้เฝ้าประตู, บุคคลที่คอยมุ่งเอาใจใส่หรือดูแลการเข้า-ออกของผู้คนอยู่ที่ประตู
shell: a weapon consisting of a metal container filled with a substance that explodes, fired from a large gun - กระสุนปืนใหญ่
so-called: used for saying that a particular word is usually used for referring to someone or something - ที่เป็นที่รู้กัน
spent: used - ใช้ไป
suspect: a person who is thought to have committed a crime - ผู้ต้องสงสัย
target: a person, business, building, area, etc., that someone intends to attack or deal with - เป้าหมาย
terrorise: to make someone feel very frightened by threatening to kill or hurt them - คุกคาม ทำให้กลัว
violation: an action that is goes against a law, agreement, principle, etc. - การกระทำผิดกฎหมาย
violence: physical force with the deliberate intention of causing damage to property or injury or death to people - ความรุนแรง, การใช้กำลังทำลาย
wound: to cause to be hurt, especially where the skin or flesh is damaged, usually seriously - ทำให้บาดเจ็บ
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