Army band leader dies in military-base shooting

Army band leader dies in military-base shooting

Sub Lt Rungchalerm Pansawasdi, 34, leader of the Band Platoon at the 210th Military Circle Headquarters. (Photo supplied)
Sub Lt Rungchalerm Pansawasdi, 34, leader of the Band Platoon at the 210th Military Circle Headquarters. (Photo supplied)

Nakhon Phanom: A murder investigation has begun into the shooting of the head of an army band stationed at the Phra Yod Muang Kwang military camp.

Sub Lt Rungchalerm Pansawasdi, 34, leader of the Band Platoon at the 210th Military Circle Headquarters, was gunned down outside the platoon's offices at 7.30pm on Wednesday, according to Muang district police.

He was shot three times in the head and neck, and taken to Nakhon Phanom Hospital where he died shortly after.

Police said the victim arrived at the office with his wife after having dinner. The couple parted ways with the wife driving off in a car.

As Sub Lt Rungchalerm was about to get on a motorcycle, a gunman appeared and fired at the officer at point-blank range before fleeing, police said.

Maj Gen Samart Jintasamit, commander of 210th Military Circle, said the gunman was likely someone from the army camp, adding the person must have followed the victim for some time before shooting him.

It was also possible another person served as a lookout as the shooter appeared to know his way around the camp, Maj Gen Samart said.

The commander said the shooter knew re-fencing was in progress at the back of the camp, adding the gunman might have slipped out of the base there.

He said military investigators believe the gunman used a pistol to shoot the victim. Police arrived at the army camp to collect evidence on Thursday afternoon.

The case is being handled by police with assistance from the 2nd Army Region, which oversees the camp.

A police source said Sub Lt Rungchalerm had sought a transfer to the 2nd Army Region headquarters due to a conflict with a colleague, which was one line of enquiry.

The victim's body has been sent for autopsy at Srinagarind Hospital in Khon Kaen.

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