PHUKET : Police are hunting a gunman who murdered an executive of a luxury hotel on Friday night.
Jintana Mahatthanaphak, 43, was found dead in a white Chevrolet sport utility vehicle that crashed into two electricity posts near Thanon Kwang junction in tambon Wichit following a shooting at about 8.30pm on Friday.
The window of the driver's door was broken, apparently from a shotgun blast, said Pol Maj Gen Chote Chawalwiwat, chief of Muang district police, adding that the bullet struck Jintana in the head.
Pol Maj Gen Chote speculated that the killer might have been a professional hitman since the victim was killed with only one shot.
Security camera footage showed the gunman travelled in a white or silver Toyota Vios without licence plates. The car sped away into the direction of Muang district after the attack.
The footage showed Jintana, a human resources manager at the Hilton Phuket Arcadia Resort & Spa, stopped at a red light. When the light turned green, the attacker's car, which was behind her, pulled alongside her and then a gunman sitting in the passenger seat shot her once.
The attacker's car was not seen again along the route even though police officers stationed in the area were alerted immediately after the attack, police said.
Despite saying other factors, including a troubled love affair, could have led to the murder, the most likely motive was a work-related conflict, Pol Maj Gen Chote said.
Police had learned that Jintana was known to be strict with the hotel staff under her supervision and she had proposed firing some management-level employees.
Her body was sent to Vachira Phuket Hospital for a post-mortem forensic examination.