Roof killing riles locals, granny forgives thief, harsh charge
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Roof killing riles locals, granny forgives thief, harsh charge

SOCIAL & LIFESTYLE
Scene of the shooting at the house.
Scene of the shooting at the house.

Fatal attraction drama

A young man in Kanchanaburi shot a former village head as he was carrying out repairs to a local's roof in a case which has opened up bitter memories of a double shooting last year.

Two of the key players in the roof shooting were also linked to the double murder in Lao Khwan district last November, with both cases containing curious echoes of the other.

Suthat at the police station

Police nabbed Suthat (no surname provided), aged 19, for killing Boonmee (no surname provided), 54, as he carried out repairs to the roof of a place owned by Chompunuch "Mod" Kaewsuksai, 34. Another man helping fix the roof, Thanapol (no surname provided), 19, a relative of the shooter, was shot accidentally in the leg and arm.

Suthat saw Boonmee on the roof and shot him six or seven times. His body was left dangling head-down from the steel beams on the roof. He was carrying out repairs after a recent storm. Police caught up with Suthat later after he fled on foot.

Speaking after his arrest, Suthat said Boonmee had threatened him, so he decided to seek revenge. When he saw the man on the roof on June 12, he went home, grabbed a handgun, and shot him dead.

News reports probing the back story say the house's owner, Ms Mod, was seeing Boonmee, a married man, on the sly, though she denies it. Some reports go further, suggesting Ms Mod enlisted Boonmee to stop Suthat, also known to the family, from seeing Ms Mod's teenage daughter, Teuy, to whom he had taken a liking.

Another theory has Boonmee insulting Suthat after he allegedly showed a romantic interest in Teuy's mother.

Speaking at the station, Suthat denied taking an interest in Ms Mod, though he admits that Boonmee had mentioned it.

Both Ms Mod and her daughter were linked to a brutal double murder in the district last year after another man who admired Teuy shot a family member who tried to keep them apart, in curious echoes of the events which supposedly led up to the roof shooting.

Last November, Lao Khwan police nabbed Jiradet "Tom" Thongyim, 36, for killing two people in a local forest, including Ms Mod's then partner.

Jiradet, an ex-con recently out of jail, shot to death Sermsak "Tar" Khunklang, 38, who had been seeing Ms Mod since the previous September and whom Teuy regarded as her stepfather.

Sermsak had tried to stop Jiradet from seeing Teuy. Jiradet also shot dead farm-hand Boonsong Srithaptim, 50, who happened to be passing by and witnessed the shooting.

Two teens who were sitting in the forest with victim Sermsak, along with Ms Mod, also witnessed the carnage but were spared Jiradet's murderous wrath.

Ms Mod said the killer entered the forest where the group were sitting having a chat, looking for Teuy.

"Jiradet also turned up at Teuy's aunt's place the night before, demanding access to the girl. However, Teuy was wary of his poor behaviour and wanted nothing to do with him," Ms Mod said at the time.

The following morning he turned up in the forest and again demanded to see the girl. When Sermsak refused, Jiradet pulled out his 9mm calibre handgun and shot him three times in the face and body.

The killer fled on his bike. Police caught him later at his home about 3km away and he is now serving jail time for the murder.

Media reports say Jiradet was released from jail the year before after serving just five years of a 25-year sentence for murdering an Isan woman known as Yai Saow.

"Yai Saow was raising goats for his family. He was hooked on drugs and asked her for money. She refused so he hit her and stuffed her wounded body in a charcoal pit and threw a bunch of tyres on top," one report said.

"He lit fire and burnt her alive. Her screams could be heard nearby. His father saw it, and called the police."

In the latest case, teenage Teuy, speaking to police, said she had called off their relationship with Suthat before the shooting occurred. Suthat, who tested positive for drugs, has apparently served jail time for a previous offence.

Ms Mod's younger sister, meanwhile, denied Ms Mod was seeing the victim, saying she was an ordinary employee. "She raised buffalo for him and he was helping fix her roof, but Boonmee could speak bluntly, which might have upset local teens," she said.

Police charged Suthat with Boonmee's murder, attempting to kill Thanapol, the young man who was shot accidentally, and drugs offences.

Hardened thief offers wai

Police say they have caught up with one member of a callous duo of thieves who robbed a grandmother in Buri Ram before abandoning her 50km from town.

Kiart Sawasdee points at the suspect, Somporn.

Officers nabbed Somporn or "Oiu Ban Na" (no surname provided), 39, at a rented place in Chon Buri where she fled after allegedly robbing Kiart Sawasdee, 72, last March of a gold necklace, gold ring, cash, and phone, together worth about 200,000 baht.

Nang Rong police in Buri Ram say the thieves, driving a five-door Toyota sedan, posed as good samaritans, offering to take Ms Kiart into town where she intended to sell some jewellery. After tying her hands behind her back and taking her belongings, they kicked her unceremoniously from their car.

They left the elderly woman in a remote spot by a waterway about 50km from Muang district before heading off at speed. A local, who saw the car head off, went to Ms Kiart's aid after hearing her cries for help.

Following her arrest in Chon Buri, the suspect was sent back to Nang Rong where the offence took place. She would only partially admit to the offence, reports said, though when Ms Kiart turned up to identify her, Somporn offered her victim a wai of apology.

Ms Kiart said she held no grudges and was prepared to forgive. "I am just grateful that didn't kill me and dump the body," she said. However, she would like her stolen jewellery returned, and asked Somporn what happened to it. The suspect did not reply.

A check of her record found Somporn had been nabbed in 2010 for selling over-priced lotto tickets in Ban Na, Nakhon Nayok; and in 2021 on a joint charge of fraud in Klong Klung district, Kamphaeng Phet. For the latest offence, she faces charges of robbery and assault.

Police in Buri Ram, who liaised with the Metropolitan Police Bureau to carry out the arrest, say Somporn has also been linked to a gang of fake monks who conned traders in the central Isan area by asking for cash in return for prayers to dispel their bad luck and help them win the lottery. Somporn demurred, saying she merely drove a car for the network. As for robbing Ms Kiart, she blamed her co-accused, saying she merely gave her the use of the car.

Police are looking for the other offender.

Son punished for good deed

A man in Sakon Nakhon has been charged with attempted murder for stepping into a fight between his mother and younger brother.

The Thai-modified air gun

Phang Khon police nabbed Ketkorn (no surname provided), 49, for shooting his younger brother Piamsak, 47, who was attacking their mother with a knife.

The victim was taken to hospital with an air gun wound to the chest. News reports say he had asked his mother for her elderly allowance and when she refused, grabbed a knife. His mother ran upstairs to escape.

Mr Ketkorn said he tried to block the attacker, but his brother forced his way past in pursuit of his mother.

He had no choice, he said, but to shoot Piamsak with a Thai-modified air gun. The victim is now recovering from his injuries.

The Daily News newspaper said police charged Ketkorn "initially" with attempting to kill, which it implied seemed rather harsh. However, they may tweak the charge later once circumstances are taken into account.

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