At Patong Police Station, with Phuket Provincial Police Deputy Commander Col Arayapan Pukbuakhao present, along with Sub Lt Wattanachai Klongpradit of the Royal Thai Army 25th Military Circle, based in Phuket, Col Anotai explained that the fight started between Patong tuk-tuk driver Narong “Tum” Dernchuaykit and motorbike taxi tout Panya Kingjumpa, who was shot dead in the fight. (See story here.)
Narong called fellow tuk-tuk driver Chartchai Dumchua to help him as he was being beaten by Panya, and Chartchai brought his gun, Col Anotai said.
Chartchai said that Panya began to beat him too, repeatedly striking him on the arm and head with what he said was an iron rod.
Chartchai said he was beaten to the ground and fired one shot to make that attack stop, Col Anotai said.
After shooting Panya, he fled, but later felt guilty and contacted the police in order to surrender, Col Anotai added.
Chartchai defended his actions, saying that he never intended to cause an incident or kill Panya, but fired the gun only to protect himself.
He also offered his apology to the family of the deceased.
Col Anotai repeatedly stressed that the slain mtorbike taxi tout was not a motorbike taxi driver.
The emphsasis was likely due to the recent high publicity over the mass motorbike taxi street brawl in bangkok last weekend that resulted with one innocent bystander shot dead. (see story here.)
Col Anotai noted that one more person was being sought for involvement in the deadly fight.
All persons involved will be charged with murder, he said.
Chartchai had explained that the fight started because Panya has been cautioned over trying to trick and steal tourists’ belongings, leading to the fight and shooting, Col Anotai noted.
Phuket Provincial Police Deputy Commander Col Arayapan explained, “From questioning Narong, we know that Narong knew Panya, but not very well. Narong parked his tuk-tuk in a tuk-tuk queue opposite where Panya worked.
“Narong said that some of the ladyboys who Panya looks after (sic) usually tried to trick and steal tourists’ belonging, so he decided to caution him with goodwill because stealing is bad. Panya was so angry that they started fighting, which ends with the shooting,” Col Arayapan said, without any explanation of Panya’s alleged role in “looking after” ladyboys.