8 arrested in connection with Khlong Toei shooting

Photo: Metropolitan Police Bureau
Photo: Metropolitan Police Bureau

Eight suspects were arrested by police in connection with a fateful shooting that killed a vocational student and a schoolteacher in Khlong Toei.

Police managed to identify and obtain arrest warrants yesterday for five suspects believed to be connected to the shooting that killed 19-year-old Thanasorn Hongsawat and 45-year-old Sirada Sinprasert on Nov. 11 near the Sacred Heart Convent School on Suthonkosa road.

The operation saw them raid six locations. One of those was a Bangkok apartment in the Rong Muang area, where one of the five suspects was apprehended, along with seven others on suspicion of association. Other locations raided were in Nonthaburi and Pathum Thani.

All suspects denied any involvement in the shooting. One of the suspects was previously involved in a shooting at a wedding that left four injured and one dead. It is not known how he was able to roam freely. 

Police found that the suspects are part of a larger gang of students that operate like a crime syndicate with over 80 members. The members consisted of former vocational school students who would rent houses together, according to investigation police chief Theeradej Thamsuthee. 

On Nov. 11, two men on a motorcycle targeted Thanasorn Hongsawat, one of whom had a gun and shot the victims. Neither have been identified.

Thanasorn Hongsawat, a first-year student at Rajamangala University of Technology Tawan-ok, Uthenthawai Campus, was shot twice in the chest and once in the neck before being rushed to Chulalongkorn Hospital. He succumbed to his injuries eight days later.

During the shooting, a stray bullet hit schoolteacher Sirada Sinprasert, known to students as Kru Jeab, who was queuing up at an ATM nearby. The Rights and Liberties Protection Department said THB200,000 compensation would be given to Kru Jeab’s next of kin. 

This assistance includes THB100,000 compensation in the event of the victim’s death, THB20,000 for funeral expenses, THB40,000 support for the cost of living, and THB40,000 to other damages in cases of accidents, emergencies, and matters of public concern.

Meanwhile, police have also arrested two suspects connected to another shooting on Monday that killed a 16-year-old student om Soi Ranong 2.

The two suspects are Akkhapol Sirimekhanont, 22, and Thanakorn, 18.

Akkhapol, who lived in Nonthaburi’s Sai Noi district, was nabbed in Soi Charansanitwong 3, while Thanakorn was arrested at a public park in Dusit district shortly after. One more suspect remains at large.

Both were detained at Police General Hospital and face charges of conspiracy to murder and illegal possession of firearms. Akkhapol confessed to shooting the victim but denied it was because of an inter-school rivalry. He alleged that the victim was behind a knife attack that injured one of his friends, and sought revenge.

Vocational school rivalries are common in Thailand, leading to acts of extreme violence, with many of the more severe cases ending in the deaths of students.

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