The chief of Phuket Provincial Police says a man who opened fire near Bangla Road in Patong was reacting to a threat from 8 potential attackers. Addressing a press conference yesterday, November 20, Sinlert Sukhum says officers were alerted to the shooting at around 2.25am the same day in Patong’s party zone.
Arriving at the scene, in a car park on Soi Lao, off the tourist mecca of Bangla Road, officers found the perpetrator, who was still carrying the gun. According to the authorities, the Smith & Wesson revolver was legally registered. Police arrested 37 year old Jettanai Kongsiri and confiscated the weapon, from which all 5 rounds had been fired.
Sinlert has clarified that Jettanai has worked as a tout on Bangla Road, soliciting tourists, in the past. He stopped working there about a year ago but had recently returned to working as a tout on the popular thoroughfare.
Sinlert went on to say that Jettanai was sitting in Soi Lao when he saw a group of people approaching him. He had previously had an altercation with the group and so, he fled further into the soi, before firing shots in their direction.
Four people, 3 men and a woman, were injured in the brawl and gunfire that ensued. According to the Phuket News, Ms Thidarat, a bystander, was struck by a stray bullet on her neck, Mr Theerasak was shot in his left arm, and Mr Somnuk was shot in the leg. Another man, Mr Pornsak, sustained a knife wound to his hand.
Jetttanai is being charged with attempted murder, carrying a firearm in public without reasonable cause, and firing a gun in public without cause. Eight people have been charged with “joining together to physically harm another person in body or mind”.
SOURCE: The Phuket News