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As second cop dies, Phuket Police Chief declares deadly cop gunfight case closed

PHUKET: Pol L/Cpl Wongsathon Theparan, 21-year-old junior officer of the Kathu Police (Thung Thong) involved in the shootout with another police officer in Phuket Town early this morning, has died from his injuries.

By Darawan Naknakhon

Saturday 11 June 2016, 06:02PM

Phuket Provincial Police Commander Col Teeraphol Thipjaroen (left) pays his respects to Lt Thamarong Suwanchatree of the Phuket City at a funeral service at Wat Wichit Sangkaran in Phuket Town this afternoon (June 11). Photo: Darawan Naknakhon

Phuket Provincial Police Commander Col Teeraphol Thipjaroen (left) pays his respects to Lt Thamarong Suwanchatree of the Phuket City at a funeral service at Wat Wichit Sangkaran in Phuket Town this afternoon (June 11). Photo: Darawan Naknakhon

The news comes as Col Teeraphol Thipjaroen, Chief of the Phuket Provincial Police, announced today (June 11) that with L/Cpl Wongsathon’s death, the investigation into the deaths of the two police officers who opened fire at each other closed.

Phuket Provincial Police Deputy Commander Col Peerayuth Karajadee confirmed today that he received formal notification of L/Cpl Wongsathon’s death at 12:40pm.

Col Peerayuth declined reveal any further details of the deadly shootout between the two police officers.

“The investigation is ongoing. We need to question all people at the scene who may be witnesses to the incident,” Col Peerayuth said.

“Officers will question Sen Sgt Maj Nattachai Phonoy of the Phuket Immigration Police at Phuket International Airport, who had an altercation with L/Cpl Wongsathon and was injured prior to the shooting,” he added.

L/Cpl Wongsathon was shot three times by Lt Thamarong Suwanchatree of the Phuket City Police after Lt Thamarong approached him to enquire about a shot L/Cpl Wongsathon had just fired into the air, near the Seahorse Circle in Phuket Town at about 12:30am today.

L/Cpl Wongsathon fired the odd, angry shot after an altercation with yet another Royal Thai Police officer, Sen Sgt Maj Nattachai Phonoy of the Phuket Immigration Police, who had refused L/Cpl Wongsathon and his friends entry to a local pub as they were unable to present identification.

Sen Sgt Maj Nattachai Phonoy was moonlighting as a security guard at the Haopan pub when the incident occurred.

Laguna Golf Phuket

Witnesses reported that when Lt Thamarong, who was having dinner with friends in a restaurant nearby, approached L/Cpl Wongsathon, the junior officer opened the door to his pickup and fired once directly into Lt Thamarong, delivering a fatal shot that killed Lt Thamarong. (See story here)

However, Phuket Police Chief Col Teeraphol announced today that the investigation into the shootout was now closed.

“We will no longer investigate any wrongdoing between the two men who have now died, but the investigation into the other aspects of the case will continue,” Col Teeraphol said.

However, Col Teeraphol praised the work ethic of Lt Thamarong. “He never stopped working. He did not neglect his duty as a police officer, even when he was off-duty,” he said.

“This incident happened because of bad tempers, and bad tempers led to violence. This happens anywhere in the world, and police are not exempt,” he said.

The decision to not pursue any charges for the fatal shootings between the two police officers comes just 18 days after police posthumously charged an 18-year-old Rohingya man with attempted murder after he was shot dead by an immigration police officer.

The Rohingya man, named by police as “Mohammadkhawnee”, was charged with attempted murder after he was shot dead by Phang Nga Immigration officer Snr Sgt Maj Thinakon Noosawas. Snr Sgt Maj Thinakon claims the he fired in self-defence after Mohammadkhawnee started throwing large rocks downhill at him. (See story here).

Meanwhile, a funeral service for Lt Thamarong at Wichit Sangkaran Temple on Narisorn Rd in Phuket Town began this afternoon.



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Sam hayman | 12 June 2016 - 17:26:09

No money in it so they may as well close it.

"This happens anywhere in the world" No it doesn't.

No real difference between the police and the mafia, actually, many police behave in the same way as the mafia.

The bar scene in Phuket is the worst in Asia and amongst the worst in the world.

Richard Vickers | 12 June 2016 - 14:22:21

Bumbling incompetence on all levels...from trainee to moonlighting gun-toting moron to marauding thugs on duty...as prone to criminal activity as the typical thugs on the street. I feel bad for the families, but that's it.

Kurt | 12 June 2016 - 14:21:01

Deadly cop gunfight closed. Sure, keep it 'all in the family' as much as possible.
Is this decision not up to prosecutor or court to make?

Quite different indeed with that Rohingya man, charged with attempted murder after he was killed by a police officer.

Same law, but different ways of practice. Rubber law practice.
Time that police officers not any longer allowed to carry a gun ...

Rorii | 12 June 2016 - 07:58:39

Extremely poor reporting, why wasn't the question asked, "closed" how can this be closed, here we see two police killed, by police and NO investigation, Thailand is try to gain some international credibility and here another white wash, only a few days after police being "accused" of scamming tourist, with their drug scam, from behind the Bangla police box, and being denied...

Bjay | 11 June 2016 - 21:16:00

Gunfight case closed?Brushing it under the carpet?

slippery snake | 11 June 2016 - 18:09:33

I guess if they are both dead, not much point keeping the case open, is there?

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