Police were called to the bus station at 10:30pm, where they were shown where the victim, Champa Wanchan, 54, was shot dead while sitting in a white plastic chair in the parking area for motorcycle taxis.
By the time police arrived, Mr Champa had been rushed to Mission Hospital Phuket, before being transferred to Vachira Phuket Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Officers, led by Col Bandit Khaosutham, Chief of the Phuket Provincial Police Investigation Division, found two bullet casings on the ground next to the blood-stained chair.
Somnuek Kongterm, a motorcycle taxi driver who witnessed the shooting, told police that Vean Aiadchuthong, well known at the bus station for shooting dead a rival motorbike taxi driver in January, arrived with his son and walked up to confront Mr Champa, who remained seated in his chair.
Only a few words were spoken before Vean pulled out a handgun and fired several times, shooting Mr Champa at close range. Mr Champa was shot once in the chest and once in the right temple.
Vean’s son ordered the people who witnessed the shooting to go back to their homes, before he and his father fled, Mr Somnuek said.
Phuket City Police confirmed they had Vean back in custody by about 11:30pm after tracking him down to his residence near the old bus station on Phang Nga Rd in Phuket Town.
Vean, originally from Trang province and owner of car rental and tour company Wang Wiset Travel Service Co, was taken to Phuket City Police Station for processing.
He had been released on bail in April after shooting dead two men ‒ Prakob Chuthong, 54, a resident of Pa Khlok, and Yod Sae Lee, 50, also from Trang ‒ at the main bus terminal north of Phuket Town in January.
Vean had been released on bail so he could prepare his defence to the charges against him for the slayings, despite police confirming that he had initially confessed to the killings.
Mr Champa’s 17-year-old daughter, Ms Wassana, said she had no idea what would have prompted Wian to kill her father.
People familiar with Vean and his two victims in January also said they were unaware of any conflict among the motorbike taxi drivers that would prompt the killings.
Many of the people at the bus station at the time described him as “a nice guy”.