Thailand has one of the highest incidences of gun murder in the world with millions of guns in circulation and many jealous hearts ready to use them.

Saturday morning saw another deadly murder in Thailand driven by passion and sexual jealousy when a 26-year-old Thai man gunned down his love rival as he came out of a 7 Eleven store, with clinical precision.

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Police and crowds outside a 7/11 store in the Bang Kung sub-district of Mueang Surat Thani on Saturday morning after a 26-year-old Thai man gunned down his love rival while his former girlfriend waited in the victim’s black Ford Everest car. The killer fled the scene in a white Mercedes with police now in pursuit.

In the early hours of Saturday morning, a happy go lucky Thai man coming out of a 7 Eleven store in the Mueang area of Surat Thani with food for his waiting and recently returned girlfriend sitting in his car only to meet his death when confronted by his love rival who shot him instantly in the forehead and also in other parts of the body. Police at the scene later found 4 spent casings and one bullet fired by the raging killer.

Police from the Mueang Surat Thani police station quickly rushed to the scene where they found the inert body of Mr Parin lying on his back just outside the door of the busy 24-hour convenience store.

The young man was wearing a white T-shirt, floral pants and slippers. Police officers in the case have not released the surnames of those involved in their enquiries at this stage.

Black Ford Everest car outside the convenience store with 26-year-old Thai woman and witness inside

A black Ford Everest car was found outside the convenience store with one of its tyres shot out. Inside the car was the 26-year-old girlfriend of the murdered man. She was named by police only as Ms Am. She immediately alerted them to the culprit in the murder.

She told officers it was 26-year-old Mr Abhist who had sped off from the area outside the convenience store on Chalokrat Road in the Bang Kung district in Soi 21 of the Mueang area of Surat Thani. He was driving a white Mercedes model car and heading for the Chaloki intersection.

Motive was one of sexual jealousy

Police understand that the primary motive for the attack was one of sexual jealousy.

Mr Abhist had been dating the 26-year-old Ms Am for a short time up to three days previously when it appears that she had returned to her former boyfriend’s arms.

Police searching for Thai woman’s former boyfriend

This morning, police carried out an autopsy on the body of Mr Parin. Officers at the scene including forensic experts were led by Police Colonel Suphakrerk Chan Yuenyong.

Later, Police Colonel Sirichai Suksa, the director at Mueang Surat Thani Police said that his officers were now looking to apprehend Mr Abhisit and are on the lookout for his white Mercedes car based on the testimony of Ms Am who was certain that the prime suspect in the murder was her former boyfriend.

Gun murders in Thailand have soared in a decade

Thailand’s gun crime rate soared in the last decade. The country has over 6 million licenced guns but it is thought that to be significantly in excess of that. 

Since gun laws were first introduced in Thailand in 1947, most licences have been recorded using old fashioned and incomplete paper records and police readily admit that the records are confused. For instance, one licence may be related to several guns.

Authorities working to create a central database of licenced firearms as record have been imperfect

In 2017, the deputy director-general of the Department of Provincial Administration Chamnanwit Terat explained the extent of the problem: ‘Not only that, all the records are scattered among the districts and the provincial offices. There are errors. We had five to six million licenses, and now we’re trying to put them into a computer.’

Gun murder rate similar to the United States

However, it is accepted that gun-related murders are higher than that of the United States which has the highest rate of gun deaths in the world including suicides but not for murder.

In 2016, there were 3,000 gun murders in Thailand giving a rate according to the University of Washington of 4.45 deaths per 100,000.

High for Southeast Asia but not the world

While this is very high by world standards and even multiple times other Southeast Asian neighbours, for example, eight times that of Malaysia, the figure is dwarfed by most South American countries where the figures for gun homicides take on outlandish proportions compared to the rest of the world.

Loss of face or jealousy the key triggers

What is also particularly noteworthy and terrifying is the motive for gun-related deaths in Thailand. This is linked primarily to grievances developed by Thais particularly among men due to loss of face or stature, particularly when faced with rejection by women.

Further reading:

Thai man guns down Italian for stealing away his younger mistress on Sunday in Khon Kaen

Death sentence for a serial murderer who killed 5 including his pregnant wife and her father in a family row

Thai murder suspect insists his Thai girlfriend played an insane game of Russian roulette