Warrant out for suspected rally shooter

Warrant out for suspected rally shooter

The Criminal Court yesterday issued an arrest warrant for a man suspected of being involved in the shooting during a rally near the Siam Commercial Bank (SCB) head office on Wednesday night.

The court approved a request by Phahon Yothin police for an arrest warrant against Pasapong Kul-amornkan, 25, the alleged gunman, on charges of attempted murder, unauthorised possession of a firearm, and firing a gun in public, according to a police source.

Earlier yesterday, Pol Maj Gen Jiraphat Phumjit, deputy commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Bureau (MPB), identified the man who was shot and injured during the rally as Prapakorn Saksritao, along with the suspect.

Mr Prapakorn is a former student of the Pathumthani Technical College in Pathum Thani while Mr Pasapong previously studied at the Minburi Polytechnic Technical College in Bangkok, Pol Maj Gen Jiraphat said.

He said the arrest warrant had been sought based on eyewitness accounts and evidence, including security camera footage, adding one group of rally guards first threw a ping-pong bomb and fled while another chased them and fired a revolver.

The clash resulted from a personal conflict and doctors had not allowed police to question the men in hospital, Pol Maj Gen Jiraphat said.

Kewalang Thanyacharoen, a chief guard of a protest group, insisted Mr Pasapong was not a rally guard. He had never been seen to work as a guard during previous anti-government rallies and he was not wearing a guard's armband, Mr Kewalang said.

He also denied the clash stemmed from a personal conflict between rally guards and said police should investigate the case thoroughly before giving information to the media.

Police said the shooting took place shortly after the protest at the SCB Park ended that night. The incident involved students from rival vocational schools who worked as guards.

Pol Maj Gen Piya Tawichai, deputy commissioner of the MPB, said yesterday gunshots and an explosion, possibly from a firecracker, were heard about 10pm.

He said a young man with one group of vocational students fired shots at a group of rival students. One person was wounded and was taken to Praram 9 Hospital for intensive care.

The students had argued while working as rally guards on the SCB Park side of Ratchadaphisek Road, he said, adding their dispute continued after the rally ended and they had crossed to the opposite side of the road where the shooting ensued.

"There are surveillance camera recordings and videos taken by reporters and other people who were in the area," he said. "I can confirm that both groups were guards for the Ratsadorn (People's Movement) group, who argued over their jobs."

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