Speaking to The Phuket News today (Nov 15), Lt Col Anukul said, “ L/Cpl Ruangrit was on his way to be treated for mental health issues on the day of the incident. He paid B50,000 bail for the charges against him and then continued on his way to be treated in Surat Thani with his mother.”
Lcpl Ruangrit was charged for attempted murder using firearms; carrying firearms in a public place without a permit and firing a gun in a public place without a permit. (See story here).
The unnamed man who was shot was just a passerby, explained Col Anukul.
“He was just a driver stopping for petrol, he was walking by when the incident occurred. The injured man is out of the hospital now, he is able to walk fine,” said Col Anukul.
“L/Cpl Ruangrit shot the gun due to the stress he was suffering because he was going to be admitted into a psychiatric hospital. From what we know, there was no argument, he was just stressed,” he said.
“He has had a history of mental issues and drug problems,” he added.
“I cannot say whether or not he deliberately wanted to hurt anyone. How can I know? But he had the gun in his hand, he could have shot and killed people if he wanted to, but he didn’t.
“The investigation is still ongoing. The suspect’s diagnosis from the Suansaranrom Psychiatric Hospital will form part of the evidence in the case, so it will be a while before the investigation is closed, possibly a few months,” he added.
If you or anyone you know is in need of mental health services, please contact the Samaritans of Thailand at their 24-hour hotline 02-713-6791 (English), 02713-6793 (Thai) or Thai Mental Health Hotline at 1323 (Thai).