“The perpetrator was Mr Nawin, 25 years old, a psychiatric patient at Ao Luek Hospital, residing in Ao Luek District of Krabi Province,” Phuket Provincial Police said in a simple Facebook publication, rather than an official statement.
Phuket Provincial Police did not reveal the shooter’s family name and did not provide any possible motive for the shooting.
The two injured passengers were identified as Ms Juraiporn, 49, and Mr Naphanat, 26. Family names were also withheld in both cases.
Mr Nawin was among nine passengers of a Phattalung-bound bus which left Phuket Bus Station at 7am. The vehicle was driven by Somyot Buakaew, 39.
As the bus was approaching the Khuan Din Daeng Hill, near Sapam, the driver heard a gunshot inside. A woman passenger came running to the front of the bus calling for help, but was shot as well.
Mr Somyot immediately stopped the bus and all the passengers, including those wounded, escaped. The shooter did not prevent them from fleeing and just stayed inside alone.
Having arrived at the scene, law enforcers supported by a Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team sealed off the area around the vehicle and tried to persuade Mr Nawin to surrender. He did not comply.
The two wounded passengers were meanwhile rushed to Mission Hospital Phuket. In the afternoon, Phuket Provincial Police confirmed that both Ms Juraiporn and Mr Naphanat were safe.
Officials at the scene included Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew, Phuket Provincial Police Commander Maj Gen Sermphan Sirikong, Phuket City Police Chief Col Pratuang Pholmana.
The siege continued for approximately four hours with SWAT not attempting to assault and Mr Nawin not willing to surrender.
Having identified the suspect, Phuket officials brought his relatives from Krabi, namely grandmother Mrs Lek, 67, and aunt Ms Pranee, 50. Both women also tried to persuade Mr Nawin to surrender but failed.
According to a report by Mgronline (but not mentioned in the report by Phuket Provincial Police) the SWAT team then used tear gas to either make Mr Nawin leave the bus or attempt to assault. Having entered the bus after some time, they found the man dead.
An Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team inspected the vehicle and found no objects of danger. Mr Navin’s body was taken to an unnamed hospital for autopsy.
Citing Ao Luek Police, Mgronline reports that Mr Nawin left a notice in his mother’s house saying the following: “Do not worry. I will start a new life. I will take a risk and go for it. And I will not return home.”
Just like their colleagues from Phuket, Ao Luek Police officers have not said anything about Mr Nawin’s possible motives.
DeKaaskopp | 11 February 2023 - 15:22:21