Police officer held in expressway slaying

Police officer held in expressway slaying

Reports say suspect had moonlighted as a driver for his businessman victim

Forensic police collect evidence on the Chalong Rat expressway in Wang Thonglang district of Bangkok where a police officer shot a businessman to death at the spot around midnight Friday. (Photo: Workpoint23 news Facebook)
Forensic police collect evidence on the Chalong Rat expressway in Wang Thonglang district of Bangkok where a police officer shot a businessman to death at the spot around midnight Friday. (Photo: Workpoint23 news Facebook)

A police officer has been arrested after a businessman was shot to death on an expressway in Wang Thonglang district of Bangkok late Friday night.

The suspect subsequently told police he had acted out of anger as the victim had done nothing to help clear his debts after saying he would do so. 

The fatal shooting happened at kilometre marker 10 on the Chalong Rat expressway above Praditmanutham Road, said Pol Capt Ouaychai Srisong, deputy investigation chief at the Wang Thonglang police staton, who was alerted about midnight.

Police, forensic officers, a doctor and rescue workers who rushed to the scene found the body of a man was lying in a pool of blood on the left lane of the expressway. Wearing black jeans and a polo T-shirt, the man had sustained five gunshot wounds to his forehead, right hand, right arm and right leg.

Police found 50,000 baht in cash and other valuables on his body. Five cartridges were collected from the scene.

An expressway employee told investigators that he and a colleague were on duty when they saw two men quarrelling beside a van parked near the wall of the expressway. One of them was assaulted and fell on the road. The other man sat astride him, holding a gun in his right hand.

On seeing the gun, the expressway staff stepped away. They later heard two gunshots and the gunman immediately fled in the van.

The two workers rushed to help the wounded victim, who told them to help phone his wife. During the phone conversation, he told her to take their children and flee their home for fear that the gunman might come after them.

Shortly afterward, the gunman returned and parked the van on the opposite side from the shooting scene. He got out of the van, jumped over the barriers at the road divider and walked towards the injured man.

Upon seeing the gunman, the two expressway staff took shelter inside their vehicle and drove a few metres away. They saw the gunman firing more shots at the victim before returning to the van to flee. The victim died on the spot.

The expressway staff got out of their car and flagged down a passing passenger bus No 34E travelling on the expressway to Rangsit. They asked the driver to park the bus to prevent other vehicles from running over the body. They then alerted police.

The victim’s mother, his wife and his children arrived shortly afterward and broke into tears on seeing the body. The deceased has been identified as Krit Saruwaranon, 30.

The victim’s wife told police that the gunman and her husband knew each other. The suspect was identified as Pol Lt Narongwat Thachada, 25, deputy investigation chief at the Hua Mak station. The van he was driving belonged to her husband.

A few hours later, investigators from Metropolitan Police Division 4 raided a rented room in Don Muang district and arrested Pol Lt Narongwat. Officers seized a Glock automatic pistol and magazine and three mobile phones and took some clothing for testing. He is facing charges of murder and carrying a weapon in public.

Debt trouble

Under questioning, he admitted to having shot the victim, police said.

The suspect reportedly told investigators that he had debts of 2 million baht after borrowing to invest in a business that did not work out. He later came to know the victim and subsequently worked as a driver for him for about five months whenever he was off-duty.

Krit reportedly told the policeman that he would clear his debt and help him get promoted. However, the victim did nothing. While driving Krit in the van on Friday night, the suspect reportedly became angry as he felt he was being used and deceived.

The officer reportedly fired a shot at the businessman’s leg and demanded that he transfer 20 million baht to his bank account. The businessman refused, and tried to seize the gun from his driver before opening the door of the van to get out. The officer then fired one more shot at the victim’s arm before driving away.

As he drove away, the officer remembered that he had dropped his mobile phone at the shooting scene. He returned and once more demanded that Krit transfer money, but the latter refused. He then fired two shots at the man’s head, causing his death.

A source familiar with the investigation said Krit had changed names and surnames three times and had been suspected in fraud cases. He reportedly claimed to be a businessman who had connections with senior police and military officers. He also claimed to be a real estate investor and drove luxury cars to impress prospective fraud victims, the source said.

Pol Lt Narongwat Thachada (second from left) is arrested at a rented room in Don Muang district of Bangkok on Saturday morning. (Photo supplied/Wassayos Ngamkham)

The van that the police officer-turned-gunman drove after the fatal shooting of a 30-year-old businessman on the Chalong Rat expressway in Bangkok late Friday night. (Photo supplied/Wassayos Ngamkham)

Do you like the content of this article?