'Don't smoke' admonishment sparks shooting

'Don't smoke' admonishment sparks shooting

Suspect Thirawat Thamkhanthee, 27, gun in hand and smoking a cigarette, walks away from a factory in Samut Prakan province on Tuesday evening. He was later arrested for trying to kill a work colleague. (Photo supplied)
Suspect Thirawat Thamkhanthee, 27, gun in hand and smoking a cigarette, walks away from a factory in Samut Prakan province on Tuesday evening. He was later arrested for trying to kill a work colleague. (Photo supplied)

SAMUT PRAKAN: A man who fired several gunshots at a work colleague who told him not to smoke and then wounded his brother-in-law while shooting at police who chased him has been arrested in the eastern province of Rayong.

Thirawat Thamkhanthee, a 27-year-old native of Kalasin province, was arrested in possession of an illegal pistol in a rubber plantation in Klaeng district of Rayong about 1am on Thursday. 

On Tuesday evening, Mr Thirawat allegedly fired shots at another man who worked in the same factory in Phra Pradaeng district of Samut Prakan.

His target, Natsayos Yaithaisong, 40, said he was walking out of the factory and saw Mr Thirawat sitting  on a motorcycle opposite him. Mr Thirawat drew a pistol, ran forward and fired 4 or 5 shots at him.

Mr Natsayos said he fled back into the factory unscathed. 

He said that in February he told Mr Thirawat in front of other workers not to smoke in the factory. Mr Thirawat had responded angrily.

They had not spoken since, Mr Natsayos said. He suspected Mr Thirawat had bided his time until he was able to acquire a gun, and then attacked him. 

Mr Thirawat fled. He reportedly told his mother by phone that he would turn himself in after visiting a relative in Rayong.

Police tracked him down and surrounded him. His mother and brother-in-law were called to the scene and both called out, asking him to surrender. He responded by firing shots at the police, and a bullet hit and wounded his brother-in-law.

He was later taken into custody.

Police initially charged Mr Thirawat with attempted premeditated murder and illegal use and possession of a firearm.


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