Thailand’s Central Investigation Bureau tracked down 23-year-old Sitthiphong Jasa-ard to a room in Chonburi province on Monday night after he brutally murdered off duty policeman, Senior Sergeant Major Charnwit Ditcharoen, when he was ordered to turn the music down at a PTT service station where 9 people had congregated.
The senseless slaying of a police officer in Suphan Buri province early on Monday morning came just hours after a construction worker gunned down a younger woman he had been having an affair with before killing himself.
A senior police officer was shot from behind in the nape of the neck in the early hours of Monday morning by an irate and drunk 23-year-old man who was among a group of nine, six men and three women, upbraided by the officer, who was off duty and in civilian clothes, for playing loud music in the forecourt of a PTT petrol station.
Police Senior Sergeant Major Charnwit Ditcharoen had also let the group know that they were in breach of Covid-19 rules by congregating where they were.
Countless media stories in a constant feed of death and tragedy all linked with ego and guns
It is one of countless media stories which flash through the news pages every second day in Thailand involving the senseless, random and utterly destructive use of firearms in the kingdom.
Whether it is a workplace quarrel, a perceived slight or sexual jealousy, the root of the most senseless shootings in Thailand is a loss of face or a perceived offence to the dignity or ego of the shooter producing uncontrollable rage.
Steady feed of stories centred on spurned boyfriends or husbands who cannot accept rejection by a female
At the start of the year, a worker at a car park gunned down two of his friends and fellow workers over a trivial quarrel.
There is a steady feed of stories of spurned boyfriends or husbands who end the lives of their lovers because they cannot accept rejection by a woman.
Only hours before the shooting of Police Senior Sergeant Major Charnwit, on Sunday night in Nakhon Sawan in the Ta Khli district, a 53-year-old construction worker, a married man, killed a 31-year-old woman he had been involved with sexually.
Married construction worker killed his 31-year-old lover just hours before the death of the policeman in Suphan Buri on Monday morning at a petrol station
53-year-old Vinai Khamphasri killed Chanchira Phuluamsai who also worked in the construction trade, with a homemade firearm after first inviting her and other workers to have drinks together.
His terrified friends ran from the scene when he gunned down the woman with one shot leaving her inert and slumped over the drinks table.
They then heard another gunshot. When they rushed back to the scene, the dead couple were both slumped over the table in what only minutes before was a convivial scene of friends socialising together.
Thailand is more dangerous than the United States for gun homicide, even more dangerous than strive ridden Iraq, measured by deaths per capita
Thailand has a problem with gun crime. The kingdom outranks the United States for gun homicide per capita of population and even war-torn Iraq.
Former Thai Corrections Department Chief, Naras Savestanan, a man with a great deal of experience in dealing with the aftermath of such tragedies and their consequences, explained the attraction of firearms to the psyche of those who use them in Thailand when interviewed by Singapore based Channel News Asia in 2016: ‘Sometimes we get in a conflict and guns seem to be the answer. Guns make people equal,’ he said.
23 year old killed an off duty police officer out of rage after being told to turn the music down
On Monday morning, 23-year-old Sitthiphong Jasa-ard was among the 9 people partying in the precincts of a PTT petrol station in Suphan Buri when his rage led him to gun down the respected policeman from behind.
He fled the scene with his friends on motorbikes and a pickup truck but was afterwards cut adrift, on his own, as the man that would be hunted down by authorities.
Later, three men who were with Mr Sitthiphong wisely turned themselves into the Muang district police station where shocked officers were already investigating the murder of one of their own.
They were named as 26-year-old Natthaphol Santithammethi, 26-year-old Somphot Thonglim and 22-year-old Montchai Sanithant.
Police quickly identified the killer
Officers were not long in identifying the killer.
They quickly recovered a .38 calibre handgun used in the killing at the young man’s home.
Then, they tracked the CCTV cameras and followed the trail of the culprit on the move as he hopelessly tried to run from what he had done.
He first went to Samut Sakhon, west of Bangkok, but then travelled on by passenger van to the Sri Racha district in Chonburi province where his sister lives.
She was out so he found refuge in a 2nd-floor apartment room in the area owned by a relative.
Hunted down by an armed Central Investigation Bureau team, charged with murder and gun offences
On Monday night, he was tracked down by an armed team led by the Central Investigation Bureau and it’s chief Torsak Sukwimol.
The 23-year-old was taken immediately for questioning to Suphan Buri where police later charged him with the murder of the police officer, the illegal possession of a firearm and bringing it to a public place without cause.
The family of Police Senior Sergeant Major Charnwit announced funeral rites for the slain policeman would begin on February 16th for six days.