Lecturer wanted on double-murder rap

Lecturer wanted on double-murder rap

Ruamkatanyu Foundation rescue workers carry the body of one of two lecturers shot dead at Phranakhon Rajabhat University in Bang Khen district Wednesday. The alleged gunman was identified as a fellow lecturer who is on the run. (Photo by Patipat Janthong)
Ruamkatanyu Foundation rescue workers carry the body of one of two lecturers shot dead at Phranakhon Rajabhat University in Bang Khen district Wednesday. The alleged gunman was identified as a fellow lecturer who is on the run. (Photo by Patipat Janthong)

The Criminal Court has approved an arrest warrant for a PhD lecturer who allegedly gunned down two other doctorate-degree lecturers in an examination room in front of two graduate students at a Rajabhat University in Bangkok Wednesday.

The shooting occurred about 10am in an examination room on the fifth floor of the Bhuddawitchalaya Building, a learning and cultural centre at Phranakhon Rajabhat University in Bang Khen district, police said.

According to police, two men, identified as Pichai Chaisongkram, 50, and Natthapol Chumworathayee, also 50, were shot dead. Both were lecturers at the university.

Wanchai Danaitamonut, 60, the suspected gunman who is also a PhD lecturer at the university's faculty of education, fled the scene after the shooting. Police are searching for Mr Wanchai.

The two murdered lecturers were in the examination room along with a graduate student and the student's friend, when the gunman suddenly burst in and shot the two lecturers, acting Metropolitan Police Bureau commander Sanit Mahathavorn said after inspecting the crime scene.

Police found nine 9mm bullet casings at the scene. Eyewitnesses confirmed Mr Wanchai was the attacker, said Pol Lt Gen Sanit.

Pol Lt Gen Sanit said the most likely motive for the shooting was a conflict between Mr Wanchai and Pichai, as both had previously lodged a formal complaint over each others' qualifications.

In a preliminary probe, police found no record of a conflict between Mr Wanchai and Natthapol, so they want to hear from the gunman as to why he killed the second victim, Pol Lt Gen Sanit said.

However, police suspect there are other possible reasons behind the killings which may be revealed when investigators further probe the case, he said.

According to the acting city police chief, the gunman appeared to have planned the murders in advance as he had gone to the graduate school of the university in person last week inquiring about the term paper examination schedule.

Investigators were continuing to gather evidence to build their case. Mr Wanchai is wanted on two counts of premeditated murder, said Pol Lt Gen Sanit.

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