Lt Col Taksin Pinyathepprathan of the Phuket City Police was called at 12:40am to investigate shots fired near the Seahorse Circle in Phuket Town.
Police arrived with Kusoldharm rescue workers to find L/Cpl Wongsathon Theparan of the Kathu Police (Thung Thong) slumped in the driver’s seat of his Isuzu pickup truck, parked next to Kao Tom Sor-eung Restaurant, on the east side of the Seahorse Circle.
L/Cpl Wongsathon had three bullet wounds: two in his chest, and one in his leg.
On the ground next to the pickup was Lt Thamarong Suwanchatree of the Phuket City Police with a serious gunshot wound to the left side of his chest.
“Both men were taken to Vachira Phuket Hospital, where Lt Thamarong was pronounced dead on arrival and L/Cpl Wongsathon remains in critical condition,” Col Taksin told The Phuket News.
A third officer, Sen Sgt Maj Nattachai Phonoy of the Phuket Immigration Police, who suffered a minor head injury when he was pistol-whipped by L/Cpl Wongsathon, is recovering from his injury at Phuket Provincial Hospital in Rassada, he added.
Witnesses reported that L/Cpl Wongsathon came with four friends wanting to go into the Haophan restaurant and pub, a live music venue across the circle, where Sen Sgt Maj Nattachai was moonlighting as a security guard, Col Taksin explained.
“However, Sen Sgt Maj Nattachai refused to let the group in without first seeing some identification,” he said.
Apparently angered by being asked to present identification, which L/Cpl Wongsathon did not have on him, the group left and returned to the pickup truck parked near Kao Tom Sor-eung.
“Sen Sgt Maj Nattachai followed and asked some questions, to which L/Cpl Wongsathon pulled out a .357 handgun out and struck Sen Sgt Maj Nattachai on the head before firing once into the air,” said Col Taksin.
“Sen Sgt Maj Nattachai ran back to the Haopan restaurant, but Lt Thamarong, who was having late-night dinner with friends at Khao Tom Sor-eung, came out to investigate the gunshot he had heard.
“Lt Thamarong approached L/Cpl Wongsathon, who was still sitting in his pickup truck, and according to witnesses, L/Cpl Wongsathon opened the car door and fired at Lt Thamarong at close range,” he said.
“Lt Thamarong reeled back and fired three times into the truck, hitting L/Cpl Wongsathon with all three shots,” Col Taksin noted.
“We are continuing our investigation into the shootings,” he added.
* In the initial report, The Phuket News was told the group of officers were looking to inspect the Haopan pub. This was later corrected by Col Sanit.