Man killed for failing to stop for volunteers' check
published : 31 Oct 2019 at 17:14
writer: Assawin Pakkawan
Sergeant and two volunteers surrender after short pursuit and subsequent shooting of fish vendor in Hat Yai who reportedly did not stop for urine check.
Sgt Maj Songwut Boonrat, 33 of the 42nd Military Circle, and volunteers Ploenchai Suwannarat, 41, and Pradit Julnuan, 33, turned themselves in at Khu Tao police station on Thursday. The move followed the shooting of fish vendor Dueramae Surong, a 33-year-old native of Pattani province, on Ban Note-Tha Nang Hom Road in Ban Note village of tambon Khu Tao at 2.20pm on Wednesday.
He was shot six times in the head, limbs and body. A window and windshields of his truck were shattered and its right tyres were flat.
At the police station, the three did not answer reporters' questions. Songkhla police commander Pol Maj Gen Thiwathawat Nakhonsri supervised the seperate questioning of the trio. A shotgun used in the murder was handed to police for examination.
Mareeya Khepan, the 32-year-old wife of the vendor, said her husband had phoned her and told her in shock that a pickup truck had been following him and people on the vehicle had shot at his truck's tyres while he was shipping fish heads to a fishmeal factory in Muang district.
The vendor then told his wife that government officials had ordered him to get off his truck for a urine test. He refused to do so and wanted to talk to her first. Then she heard a dispute and lost his phone contact.
The woman rode her motorcycle to the scene only to see her husband shot dead at the driver's seat.
Police found from the dashboard camera of the victim's truck that the white Isuzu pickup truck of the attackers had waited on the road about 100 metres ahead of the scene. When the victim's silver Isuzu truck passed it, it overtook it and blocked its way.
A man got off the white truck with a shotgun and walked toward the victim's vehicle, followed by its driver. Another man arrived there on a motorcycle before the shooting began. It lasted about five minutes and then the three left the scene. The dashboard camera footage captured their faces clearly.
Police quoted the three as saying that the two defence volunteers called the victims to stop for a urine test but the victim did not stop.
Mrs Mareeya, the wife, said her husband had a conflict involving the fish trade with his brother-in-law who had stabbed him a month ago. He had been discharged from a hospital shortly before being killed on Wednesday, she said.
She said she feared for her safety because she had to drive past the houses of the two volunteers every day.
The wife of Sgt Maj Songwut, who did not tell her name, said her husband had nothing to do with the murder. He only knew the two defence volunteers and was just a passer-by.