The move comes after relatives angered by shooting paraded his coffin today (Sept 22) in protest of the killing.
The man, Chitnupong Kherjan from Karon, was shot dead in his pickup truck near the Tonhorm Restaurant on Srisoonthon Rd in Cherng Talay at around 1:30am.
Police reported that firearms and ammunition were found in Chitnupong’s car, and that they opened fire only after he raised his gun at them. (See story here.)
At around 1:30pm, Chitnupong’s father, Arun Kherjan, along with more than 50 relatives led a procession of vehicles led by a truck carrying the coffin of his son from Wat Kettho in Kathu, where the funeral is being held, to Phuket Provincial Hall.
The relatives called for Phuket Governor Nopparat Plodthong to “deliver justice” for the shooting, which they said was “use of excessive force” by the police.
Some of the angry residents today carried signs that read: "Police kill".
“We are protesting my son’s death because this killing by police is extraordinary. I do not understand why police did it,” Mr Arun said.
Governor Nopparat assured the incident will be investigated fairly and suggested that the relatives give all relevant information to the Phuket Damrongtham Centre (the provincial office of the Ombudsman’s Office) to assist them in their investigation into the shooting.
Phuket Provincial Police Commander Maj Gen Teerapol Thipjaroen admitted, “The police (involved in the shooting) were not calm. There were nine officers involved in the incident. They will be ordered to move out of the area within 24 hours (and remain there) while the investigation is conducted.
“The prosecutors and the police who will conduct the investigation have been given the evidence. I assure all parties that the investigation will be fair,” he said.
“If the investigation shows that police were wrong in their actions, they will face action for what they did,” Gen Teeraphol said.
However, The Phuket News was informed that Chitnupong was previously wanted on three arrest warrants – two issued in Phuket and one issued in Trang – of which one had been cancelled, and that before those arrest warrants were issued, Chitnupong was involved in five other criminal cases.
After the protest today was diffused, the relatives took Chitnupong’s body to Kathu temple and said they would wait for the results of an independent medical examination and the investigation before holding the funeral services.