NARATHIWAT: A police officer assigned to a special operations unit was fatally shot with an M16 rifle by a colleague at the unit's operations base at a village in Rangae district on Wednesday. Pol Gen Damrongsak Kittiprapas, the national police chief, has ordered an urgent investigation into the incident.
After being alerted to the incident, a police team, led by Pol Col Apakorn Wirupak-arak, the Rangae police chief, and forensic officers rushed to the operations base at Ban Lamu in tambon Tanyong Limo to investigate.
An initial investigation found that Pol Sgt Wisit Kaewpi, 32, was on guard duty at the command building, along with four to five other policemen who were engaged in conversation at a nearby table. Suddenly, Pol Sgt Tacharin Kaewkong, 32, stormed into the building and opened fire at Pol Sgt Wisit with an M16 rifle.
The victim sustained four gunshot wounds to the chest and was killed instantly.
The unexpected burst of gunfire caused the other policemen in the building scrambling for safety.
Following the shooting, Pol Sgt Tacharin fled the base and hid the M16 rifle in a nearby rubber plantation. He later walked to a tea shop in the village.
Pol Sgt Tacharin remained in the village for a period before making his way to the operations base of Ranger Company 4505. There, he disclosed his crime to the rangers and asked them to arrange for his surrender. The rangers promptly reported the incident to the Rangae police station.
Pol Maj Nima Aming, the Rangae police chief investigator, subsequently led a team of police to the Ranger Company 4504 operations base and took Pol Sgt Tacharin into custody. They also recovered the rifle concealed by the shooter.
Pol Sgt Tacharin was then brought to the Rangae station for detention.
In Bangkok, Pol Gen Damrongsak ordered Pol Lt Gen Nanthadet Yoinual, the Provincial Police Region 9 commissioner, to conduct an immediate investigation into the incident.