Police had to use force to end the recent armed standoff at a housing estate in Phetchaburi province because more people could have been killed or injured if the situation had been allowed to continue, according to Pol Lt-Gen Thanayut Wuthicharasthamrong, commissioner of the 7th Regional Police Bureau.
The 15-hour siege ended with the gunman, identified as “Anuwat”, who was holding out in a property in the housing estate, was shot dead by police. Three innocent people had already been killed by the gunman and three others injured, including an officer of the police special operations unit involved in the storming of the house.
Pol Lt-Gen Thanayut said that the gunman appeared to know combat techniques used in a siege situation when he was surrounded by the police.
For instance, the gunman poured vegetable oil on the flooring of the ground floor of the house and staircases. He closed the curtains on all the windows, moved furniture to block the windows and switched off the lights, to prevent the police from observing his movements from the outside or from a drone, while he could still monitor police movements.
The police commissioner said that the gunman deployed a “double-tap” shooting technique, which means firing two shots in rapid succession at the same target, to deter police attempts to get into his house.
He disclosed that the gunman fired six shots at one police officer, but the bullets hit the bullet-proof shield, without which the officer might have been seriously injured or killed.
He also said that the three innocent people who died in front of the gunman’s house, two college students and a delivery rider, were shot more than 30 times.
Police have also discovered that the gunman bought ammunition for his Glock 19 semi-automatic pistol online. The weapon and two magazines were seized from beside his body, which was found on the second floor of the house.
Pol Lt-Gen Thanayut maintains that police had tried their best to persuade the gunman to surrender, but latter responded by shooting at them.
“If the situation had been allowed to drag on, the gunman would have become more agitated. So, we decided to end the siege,” he said.