The violence erupted at the Camp Beer pub in tambon Bo Phut around 2am, said Lt Ratthakarn Chanwong, a duty officer at Bo Phut police station.
The shooting left seven men wounded – three policemen from Bo Phut station and four pub staff. All were rushed to hospitals, where two were later pronounced dead. They were Lt Corp Jaerasak Sroisangvarn and Kraisorn Mingsakul, a guard at the pub.
The other five with bullet wounds were identified as Lt Corp Sitthisak Ngamkhom, Lt Corp Kritsana Boonyin, pub guard Voravit Yimyong, pub manager Thepthinnakorn Thongphet and pub waiter Veerapong Jarusenee.
Police investigators reported that seven policemen attached to Bo Phut Police Station were having a night out at the pub.
While dancing they became involved in a brawl with a group of young men. Security guards intervened and asked them to leave.
After emerging from the bar, Lt Corp Jaraesak pulled out a pistol. The pub manager tried to stop him and then chaos then erupted.
Another policeman, identified later as Lt Corp Narongsak Khamjai, fired shots from his 9mm pistol into the crowd gathering in front of the pub. The bullets hit three fellow policemen and four pub staff, including the manager. After the shooting he drove off in his car.
Police sent to the scene found bloodstains and six spent cartridges in the parking lot of the pub.
CCTV footage which showed Lt Corp Narongsak opening fire at the crowd. He was later caught and arrested on charges of murder, attempted murder and carrying a weapon in a public area.
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