Former Bangkok police chief survives self-inflicted shooting

Former Bangkok police chief survives self-inflicted shooting

Incident takes place in car being driven by niece in Ekkamai area

Pol Lt Gen Sophon Waratchanon, former chief of the Metropolitan Police Bureau, was also an assistant director-general of the Police Department when he retired in 1998. (Photo from cops-magazine.com)
Pol Lt Gen Sophon Waratchanon, former chief of the Metropolitan Police Bureau, was also an assistant director-general of the Police Department when he retired in 1998. (Photo from cops-magazine.com)

A former Bangkok police chief is recovering in hospital from a gunshot wound sustained in an apparent suicide attempt while travelling in a car driven by his niece.

The incident took place near the home of Pol Lt Gen Sophon Waratchanon in the Ekkamai area of Bangkok, police said on Saturday.

Investigators said the former head of the Metropolitan Police Bureau, who retired from the force in 1998, had recently undergone knee surgery and complained that he did not want to live anymore.

Before the incident, his niece had taken him out for a sightseeing drive around the neighbourhood near his house. As they drove along Ekkamai Soi 10 on the way back to his home, he suddenly pulled out a .22 Walther and fired a shot into his cheek. 

His niece immediately set off for a nearby hospital but as the car arrived near the Ekkamai intersection, Pol Lt Gen Sophon tried to shoot himself again but the bullet hit the roof of the car as the driver tried to seize the gun. She immediately drove him to Sukhumvit Hospital.

The retired officer was said to be out of danger and is being treated at the hospital. Police plan to question him once he is able to talk.

Klong Tan police inspected the car at the hospital and found traces of bloodstains in the front passenger seat. There was also a bullet hole in the roof of the sedan.


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