Indian tourist among two dead in Bangkok shootout, two injured; police nab one
One person has been arrested for his alleged involvement in a deadly shootout between two rival gangs in Bangkok in which an Indian tourist and a man from Laos were killed, a media report said on Tuesday.
Bangkok: One person has been arrested for his alleged involvement in a deadly shootout between two rival gangs in Bangkok in which an Indian tourist and a man from Laos were killed, a media report said on Tuesday.
Gakhrejr Dheeraj, 42, and a tourist from Laos died in the shooting which took place on Sunday on a bustling street in Bangkok's Ratchathewi district. Dheeraj and Keovongsa Thonekeo, 28, a Lao tourist, died at a hospital where other injured are undergoing treatment at a nearby hospital, police officials said. The five people injured in the crossfire were two Thais, two Indians and one Lao.
Preecha Sakudompaisan, 28, turned himself in Monday night, and authorities are seeking the arrests of at least five more suspects, according to Bangkok police chief Sutthiphong Wongpin. "I believe the perpetrators will continue to surrender," Sutthipong was quoted as saying by Bangkok-based news website Khaosod English.
The police officer said at least five firearms, including an assault rifle, were used in the shooting in which five people were injured, including two Thais and two Indians. Sutthipong said the gangs were playing snooker in a nearby bar before they got into a heated argument, which escalated into a gun battle. He denied the reports that the perpetrators were connected to local "influential figures". "Investigators have identified [up to three] suspects," Surachate Hakparn, acting chief of the Immigration Bureau, told the Bangkok Post. "We're finding out what each of them did during the fight," Surachate said. Sutthiphong said the suspects are likely to face murder or attempted murder charges.
Officers inspected the crime scene Monday including a food shop and an alley linking to Soi Ruamchai. They found 7.62 mm and 9 mm shells and others fired by a .38 special, leading them to believe that an AK-47 had been used during the gunfight. Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon said Monday that the authorities had tightened their clampdown on the illegal possession of firearms and confiscated a number of weapons.
The shooting took place last night on a street behind Centara Watergate Pavillion hotel in Ratchathewi district, where tourist coaches were parked, Bangkok Post reported. The Indians were part of a group of tourists who had just had their dinner at an Indian restaurant in the mall and were waiting for their bus at the parking lot. While they were there, two groups of young men emerged from a nearby snooker club into an alley just beside the parking lot, said police Major General Senit Samararn Samruajkit. They began a fight that quickly escalated into an armed battle, Samruajkit said.
According to eyewitnesses, around 20 men armed with pistols, knives and sticks ran from the club into the street, he said, adding that three men also opened fire. The gang members fled as the police arrived at the scene, and none of them was apprehended. Police have yet to identify the type of rifles used, but spent shells from the AK47 assault rifle were found at the scene.
With inputs from PTI
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