Italian man kills ex-wife, commits suicide

Italian man kills ex-wife, commits suicide

An Italian man shot dead his divorced Thai wife who had threatened him with a gun, before turning the weapon on himself in Chiang Mai on Sunday, police said.

Police found the bodies of the pair in front of a two-storey house in tambon Nong Kwai of Hang Dong district. A .380 pistol and four spent cartridges were collected near the 49-year-old Italian man, whose name was withheld pending notification of relatives.  

Pol Lt Col Wichian Chaichomphuu, an investigator at Hang Dong police station, said the man shot Somjit Panpon, 35, in the head three times and then pointed the gun to his forehead after the pair had a heated argument over their eight-year-old son. 

Pol Lt Col Wichian said the two divorced early last year and agreed that their son would stay with the man only on weekends. 

A preliminary investigation indicated that before the shooting Somjit came to take the boy from her ex-husband’s home in the early afternoon but found no one inside. She waited in her car outside the house and later found the man had returned without their son. She became angry after learning that he had left the boy at a friend’s place, Pol Lt Col Wichian said. 

A witness said at one point during the argument Somjit pulled a gun from her handbag to threaten her ex-husband, but he snatched the weapon from her. He then opened fired at her before shooting himself.

Pol Lt Col Wichian said the couple had often quarrelled and lodged complaints against each other at Hang Dong police station. 

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