After a tense 15-hour armed standoff at a housing estate in Mueang district of Thailand’s Phetchaburi province, police stormed the house in which a gunman was holding out and shot him dead early this morning (Thursday).

The Phetchaburi armed siege came about a week after another armed standoff in Bangkok’s Sai Mai area, in which an apparently agitated police officer, Pol Lt-Col Kittikarn, fired several gunshots from his house, which was then surrounded by police for more than 24 hours. Police ultimately stormed the house to end the siege and shot the police officer dead.

In the Phetchaburi incident, the gunman, Anuwat, who was a former employee at Tap Lan National Park, was alleged by police to have shot and killed three people and injured two others, including the mayor of Ton Mamuang Tambon (sub-district) Administrative Organisation, at the housing estate in Ton Mamuang sub-district yesterday.

Pol Lt-Gen Thanayut Wuthicharasthamrong, the commissioner of 7th Regional Police Bureau, told the media the gunman was killed by a special operations police unit at about 4am this morning.

He insisted that the police had followed the rules of engagement for armed siege situations by first applying a soft approach, which intensified in line with the changing situation, adding that the police were told to exercise extreme caution as the gunman frequently practised at a shooting range.

According to the police report, the gunman appeared to be stressed, because he was due to appear before the provincial court yesterday afternoon for a trial over an assault charge.

He allegedly shot the three people dead with his handgun right in front of his house. Two of the victims, Rathakorn and Phasit, were fourth-year college students. The third decedent is reported to have been a delivery rider. Two others were shot and injured. They are the mayor, Kanoksak, and a woman, identified only as Kanchana.

A brother of Rathakorn reportedly told the police that his sibling had recently had a quarrel with the gunman and had been pistol-whipped. A complaint was lodged with the Mueang district police and a court hearing was scheduled for yesterday.

Rathakorn and Phasit were staying at a hostel near Anuwat’s house.

After being alerted to the shootings, police were deployed to the housing estate. At about 9pm last night, two armoured cars were sent from the Royal Thai Police to take up position near the gunman’s house.

At about midnight, Pol Gen Torsak Sukvimol, the deputy national police chief, arrived at the scene to monitor the situation and to supervise police operations.

At about 1am, several gunshots were heard from the gunman’s house.




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