Maha Sarakham police officers lauded for diffusing a tense school hostage situation. A gunman, distraught over marital woes, held hostages but surrendered without harm. Police Chief Torsak Sukwimon expressed relief at the resolution achieved at the well known Ban Khwao Thung School.

Police in Maha Sarakham in southern Thailand were praised on Thursday for peacefully resolving a highly dangerous hostage situation. The incident happened at a local school in southern Thailand. At length, a distraught husband pleading for reconciliation was rejected by his wife. After that, the potential danger of an armed and mentally unstable man holding people at the school hostage led to the matter being reviewed by police headquarters in Bangkok. Afterwards, the Police Chief, General Torsak Sukwimol expressed his own personal relief at the outcome.

Scene showing 36-year-old Mr Akrarat after he surrendered on Thursday and scenes beforehand as police surrounded Ban Khwao Thung School. The crisis erupted before noon on Thursday and ended in the evening after the armed perpetrator had already surrendered all his hostages, including his 32-year-old wife.

There was relief in Maha Sarakham province on Thursday evening. It came after a dangerously tense hostage situation resulted in a negotiated surrender.

At length, the situation unfolded at Ban Khwao Thung School in the southern province. The incident saw a gunman, identified as 36-year-old Mr Akrawat, holding his 32-year-old wife captive inside the school premises.

In addition, other hostages at the school were also held.

Man produced a gun and launched the crisis after his wife spurned his efforts at reconciliation. Mr Akrawat was formerly a resident of Buriram province

Mr Akrawat had come to the school to plead for reconciliation with his estranged wife. Following her refusal, he produced a gun and provoked the emergency.

Previously, police briefed reporters that Mr Akrawat was formerly a resident of Satuk District in Buriram province, in central Thailand. His wife was 32-year-old Ms Wanphen heralded from Roiet province, in central northeastern Thailand. 

Prompt intervention by police, however, led to the safe release of all hostages and the peaceful surrender of the perpetrator.

Police Lieutenant General Achayan Kraithong, spokesman for the Royal Thai Police, provided details on the incident. He revealed that authorities were alerted to the situation at approximately 11:50 a.m. on February 8, 2024.

Police in the province were alerted just before midday on Thursday of the emergency. A gunshot had already been fired inside the school raising concern

Radio Center 191 alerted Phayakkhaphum Phisai Police Station, Maha Sarakham province, to the disturbance at the well-known school.

According to Police Lieutenant General Achayan, initial reports indicated Mr Akrawat had fired a gun inside Ban Khwao Thung School.

After that, he had taken his wife hostage. The school, situated in Village No. 10, Phara Aen Subdistrict, Phayakkhaphum Phisai District, became the centre of a rapidly escalating situation.

In response to the urgent call, Police Lieutenant General Phonchai Chalodet, commander of Maha Sarakham Provincial Police got involved. He brought in Police Lieutenant Colonel Lek Amat, Deputy Superintendent of Phayakkhaphum Phisai Police Station.

In short, they mobilised police forces to the scene. Their mission was to confront the armed man while securing the safety of all people involved.

Tense standoff as police confronted the armed man at the well-known school. A heated argument between the armed kidnapper and his wife was still ongoing

Upon arriving at Ban Khwao Thung School, law enforcement officers were met with a tense standoff.

Mr Akrawat, armed and agitated, was engaged in a heated argument with his wife.

This was within the confines of the school building. Certainly, the safety of students, teachers, and staff hung in the balance as negotiations ensued.

Despite the high-stakes nature of the situation, police managed to achieve a breakthrough.

Through skilful negotiation led by Police Lieutenant Colonel Lek Amat, Mr Akrawat agreed to release his wife unharmed. In addition, all hostages could leave.

The breakthrough development brought a sense of relief. In brief, the immediate danger to the hostages was alleviated.

Police exercised patience and conducted negotiations with the kidnapper even when it was just himself left inside the school. Eventually, he surrendered

However, the crisis was far from over.

While the hostages were safe, Mr Akrawat remained inside the school building. At length, he remained armed and resistant to surrender. 

Law enforcement officers, under the leadership of Police Lieutenant Colonel Lek, continued their efforts to de-escalate the tension. Eventually, they persuaded the perpetrator to surrender peacefully.

This only came, however, following hours of tense negotiations.

A breakthrough occurred when Mr Arawat, realised the futility of his actions. Afterwards, he made the decision to surrender himself to the police who engaged with him. 

Police Lieutenant General Achayan meanwhile confirmed the successful resolution of the hostage situation.

He told reporters: ‘Just now, the perpetrator of the incident has surrendered himself to the police.’

Mr Akrawat was taken to hospital but certainly will face legal proceedings relating to today’s events

The surrender of Mr Akrawat was met with relief and gratitude by police officers. In particular, they were delighted that a potentially volatile situation was resolved without any loss of life.

Following his surrender, the accused was detained for a medical examination at Phayakkhaphum Phisai Hospital. 

Law enforcement authorities remained vigilant. In short, they ensured that the perpetrator received appropriate medical attention.

At the same time, legal proceedings against the man will be prosecuted fully.

National Police Chief General Torsak Sukwimol praised all the officers involved in Maha Sarakham and expressed both relief and satisfaction at the outcome

At Royal Thai Police headquarters in Bangkok, Police General Torsak Sukwimon, Commander-in-Chief of the force, expressed his appreciation.

Chiefly, he praised officers for the swift and decisive action taken in Maha Sarakham. 

‘There is concern in such situations,’ remarked General Torsak. He emphasised the gravity and potential danger of the crisis. ‘We have been regulating and supervising the incident since receiving the initial report’

General Torsak praised the efforts of the Provincial Police Commander of Maha Sarakham Province.

Similarly, the Deputy Superintendent of Phayakkhaphum Phisai Police Station, and all officers involved in the operation. Their swift response and effective coordination ensured the safety of everyone at Ban Khwao Thung School.

‘This operation was in accordance with the strategy that the Royal Thai Police Commander had ordered all units to practise emergency response plans at all times,’ declared General Torsak.

The successful resolution of the hostage situation underscored the importance of preparedness and effective communication in managing crisis situations.

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