Man in shooting rampage killed by police
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Man in shooting rampage killed by police

Gunman worked as forest ranger for six months, but his contract was not extended.

Members of a commando police team, Naresuan 261, before charging into a house in Muang district, Phetchaburi province, where a man had been on a shooting rampage. The man was killed in a shoot-out with police early on Thursday. (Photo: Royal Thai Police)
Members of a commando police team, Naresuan 261, before charging into a house in Muang district, Phetchaburi province, where a man had been on a shooting rampage. The man was killed in a shoot-out with police early on Thursday. (Photo: Royal Thai Police)

PHETCHABURI: A man who went on a shooting rampage, killing three people and wounding three others, including a police officer, at a housing estate in Muang district on Wednesday, was killed by commando police in a shoot-out early on Thursday, ending a 15-hour standoff.

The man, identified as 29-year-old Anuwat Laemthong, started shooting indiscriminately from a two-storey house at the Krungphet Villa housing estate in tambon Ton Mamuang from about 1.37pm on Wednesday.

About 100 special operations police officers were deployed to lay siege on the house, trying to convince the gunman to surrender, but to no avail.

At about 7pm, police brought his mother to the house. The mother tried to talk him into surrendering, but the man refused to budge and continued shooting sporadically.

By that time, three men had been killed and three others injured.

Those killed were Pasit Em-ot, 22, and Rathakorn Thongkaew, 22. They came to the house on a motorcycle. Both were fourth-year students of Phetchaburi Rajabhat University. The third was Sirapat Wattana, 27, a delivery man from tambon Pho Phra in Muang district, Phetchaburi.

The injured were Pol Sub Lt Kanoksak Muthakan, chairman of the Ton Mamuang tambon administration organisation, who was hit by a bullet while arriving in a car with an intention to negotiate with Anuwat; Pol Lt Somchai Yaemyuan, a special operations officer, who was hit in the cheek while on duty; and Krisda Sritha, 35, who was driving a car past the scene to his house on the same road.

Anuwat was still on the shooting rampage when a team of commando police, Naresuan 261 from Naresuan Camp in Phetchaburi's Cha-am district, arrived at 6.10pm.

Pol Lt Gen Thanayut Wuthijarasdamrong, commissioner of the Provincial Police Region 7, and Pol Maj Gen Piti Naruekhatpichai, the provincial police superintendent, arrived at about 6.50pm.

Pol Gen Torsak Sukvimol, a deputy police chief, and Pol Lt Gen Samran Nuanma, an assistant police chief, arrived at 11.30pm.

At 3.33am, the commando police stormed into the house, and an exchange of fire followed. Anuwat was shot dead on the second floor of the house, ending the 15-hour standoff at 3.47am.

A 9mm pistol was recovered from him.

Anuwat Waenthong, 29. (Photo: Royal Thai Police)

Phetchaburi governor Nathachai Nampoolsuksawat said the families of those killed in the incident are entitled to compensation according to the law.

Pol Maj Gen Piti, the provincial police chief, said Anuwat worked as a forest ranger at the Thap Lan National Park for only six months in 2020, but his work contract was not extended.

He said Anuwat was indicted in a legal case in November 2022. He had appeared two times previously at the Phetchaburi Court. A third court hearing was scheduled for Wednesday, but Anuwat and a man on the other side of the case failed to attend.

Forensic police examined the crime scene while an investigation was underway to establish grounds for legal proceedings.

Thailand has high rates of gun ownership and there has been a steady number of violent incidents in the past 12 months, including one of the deadliest attacks in recent history: the massacre of 36 people, including 24 children, in northeastern Nong Bua Lam Phu province.

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