Sathit Jumthong, 40, the bus driver, surrendered to Pol Col Luesak Damnoensawat, chief of Bangkok's Bang Phlad police station, yesterday to acknowledge a charge of murder. He was accompanied to Bang Phlad station by his wife Bussapa Yotpeng and their little son, Thai media reported.
Sophon Jiarapakanont, 55, was shot from close range while he was asleep in the bus on July 17.
Mr Sophon, a C7 computer technician employed at the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat), received two fatal gunshot wounds in the chest and neck.
The shooting occurred in Bangkok's Bang Phlat district near Soi Sirindhorn 3 off Sirindhorn Road in Bang Bamrung area. The bus, belonging to Pornthip Travel Co, was hired to transport Egat staff to the Phra Nakhon Tai power plant.
Witnesses told police Mr Sathit walked toward Sophon's seat and shot him at point blank range. The gunshots woke up and startled other Egat employees. The gunman then gave a "wai' to one witness and said, ''I apologise. It's a personal matter'', before getting off and escaping in a taxi.
Sathit told police that he had fled into hiding at his relative’s house in Bangkok’s Bang Khun Thian district after the killing. He had thrown the .38 pistol into roadside bushes between Kanchanaphisek Road and Phutthanonthon Sai 2 Road. He said he had bought the handgun from a man near the Thai-Cambodian border.
After staying at his relative’s house for two days, he moved to a hotel in Phutthamonthon Soi 4, the suspect said. He felt under pressure and was running out of money, and this finally drove him to surrender.
Mr Sathit told police he had shot Sophon because he had repeatedly criticised him over his driving. The man had faulted him for honking his horn loudly when driving past a woman, and also reprimanded him for bringing his wife and child along on the shuttle bus.
The victim had not only reprimanded him, but also his parents. Bottled up anger, coupled with drinking alcohol, drove him to shoot the man dead, Mr Sathit said.
The suspect was held in police custody for legal action.
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