Officers from Kamala Police Station had tracked down Udom ‘Ae’ Rattanamanee, 46, to his family home in Moo 12, Tambon Kamlon, Lan Saka District, explained Lan Saka Police Chief Col Somkit Damklieng.
Udom had fled Phuket after being arrested in 2018 for his role in attempting to smuggle into Phuket 39,820 methamphetamine (ya bah) pills hidden in toy remote-controlled cars that were delivered to Phuket from Bangkok by a private parcel delivery service.
In that raid, Udom was arrested along with two other suspects: Thipparat ‘Koi’ Prompramoon, 29, and and John Mark Vickers, 29, a Thai national of Thai-British parentage who goes by the nickname ‘Jonny’.
In making the arrests, police seized 39,820 ya bah pills, 18.8 grams of crystal meth (ya ice), 180mg of heroin, a BMW car, a Nissan March, a Mitsubishi sedan, two bankbooks and two gold necklaces – altogether valued at B1.23 million, police said.
This morning, armed police surrounded Udom’s family home at about 6am and called for Udom to surrender peacefully, explained Col Somkit.
However, instead of complying, Udom opened fire at police with an assault rifle. He then fired a .45-calibre gun at police to prevent officers from advancing, he told The Phuket News.
After exchanging gunfire for about 15 minutes, Udom attempted to flee the home, but was shot by police while attempting to escape. Udom died at the scene, he confirmed.
Present during the firefight were Maj Phramoon Chukong and Snr Sgt Maj Wattana Kanchana, both from Kamala Police Station.
Assisting the two Phuket police officers was Thanomsak Wisutsak of the Territorial Defense Volunteer organisation (OrSor, or Kong Asa Raksa Dindaen) unit that assists the Kamala Police.
Maj Phramoon and Mr Thanomsak suffered injuries during the gunfight. Maj Phramoon suffered injuries to fingers on his right hand and the right side of his head, while Thanomsak suffered injuries to his lower left leg, reported Col Somkit.
Both men were rushed to Lan Saka Hospital for medical treatment, he added.
After the gunfight while officers were examining the scene, Udom’s father, Preecha Rattanamanee, attacked Snr Sgt Maj Wattana with a scythe, Col Somkit explained.
Snr Sgt Maj Wattana suffered a large gash to the back of his neck, and was also rushed to hospital, he said.
Udom’s girlfriend, Areeya Phanthip, who was also wanted on an arrest warrant, was found taking refuge inside the house, Col Somkit noted.
Also found at the house were drugs and a lot of ammunition, he added.
The firefight drew instant attention from the media, and soon to arrive at the scene were Nakhon Sri Thammarat Provincial Police Chief Maj Gen Sonthichai Awatthakulthep together with Police Region 8 Deputy Commander Maj Gen Nanthadet Yoinuan, Col Somkit confirmed.
Preecha has been charged with attempted murder of an officer and preventing officials from performing their duties, Col Somkit said.
“He is being held at Lan Saka Police Station for questioning,” he added.
Col Somkit declined to reveal which charges Areeya was facing.