Local drug addict kills police officer

Local drug addict kills police officer

Nakhon Phanom: A policeman was killed while trying to subdue a drug addict undergoing a psychotic episode in That Phanom district on Sunday.

Pol Lt Issrawut Kopolrat, deputy crime suppression chief at That Phanom station, was killed when he responded to a distress call in Ban Choke Amnuay in tambon Ummao, where the suspect, identified only as 49-year-old Anudet, was causing a disturbance.

Anudet was known to residents as a methamphetamine addict who has been in and out of jail for various offences.

He was undergoing treatment for his addiction and often exhibited strange behaviour in public, brought on by years of drug abuse.

Pol Lt Issrawut, who was the first officer to arrive on the scene, attempted to calm Anudet down. However, the suspect pulled a knife and stabbed the police lieutenant seven times. Pol Lt Issrawut was pronounced dead at the scene.

The police back-up team arrested Anudet when they arrived at the scene. Anudet has been charged initially with murder, but he is expected to be charged on other counts too. The suspect's relatives said Anudet has been living by himself since his divorce, and he has been addicted to methamphetamine for a long time.

Kanoknart Kopolrat, 29, Pol Lt Issrawut's wife, said her husband had known Anudet personally for some time. In fact, she said, Pol Lt Issrawut had offered to arrange medical help for Anudet, after his family failed to convince him to seek help for his addiction. She said Anudet should be punished to the full extent of the law. "It's life for a life. Mental illness should not be an excuse for leniency," Ms Kanoknart said.

Manyuree Kopolrat, 79, the slain officer's mother, said Pol Lt Issrawut leaves behind four children, three from a previous marriage and one from his current wife.

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