Teen shot in head at Bangkok police station dies after two months in coma

A police officer inside the Din Daeng Police Station is shown aiming a gun on the night of Aug. 16 at a youth, believed to be Warit Somnoi, was shot in the neck.
A police officer inside the Din Daeng Police Station is shown aiming a gun on the night of Aug. 16 at a youth, believed to be Warit Somnoi, was shot in the neck.

After two months in a coma, a 15-year-old boy the police deny shooting in Bangkok’s Din Daeng area died yesterday.

Mourned as the pro-democracy movement’s first death, 15-year-old Warit Somnoi succumbed to injuries sustained mid August when he was shot in the back of the neck in front of the Din Daeng Police Station. His death was announced by activist-turned-lawmaker Rangsiman Rome of the Move Forward Party.

“Why do those who fight for a better life for their generation have to die?” Rangsiman said in a tweet. “What kind of regime can destroy the future of the nation so cruelly?”

Warit had been in a coma at Rajavithi Hospital with a bullet lodged in his brainstem. His body was taken to Ramathibodi Hospital for autopsy. His funeral will take place at a temple in Samut Prakan province.

Piya Tawichai, deputy commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Bureau, said investigators were conducting a ballistics examination of the bullet, which was just removed from Warit’s body to determine the caliber and type of weapon used. 

While fingers point at the police for the Aug. 16 shooting, top brass have denied using live ammunition on protesters, who are calling for the military-backed government to step down and reform of the monarchy.

Maj. Gen. Piya said a 28-year-old man named Chutipong Tidkratok was apprehended and charged with manslaughter in connection with Warit’s death and illegal possession of firearms. Chutipong has denied all charges. 

Twitter, a mainstay of the anti-government movement, erupted in anger over Warit’s death, with the hashtags #Warit and #WaritMustNotDieinVain, asking for his killer to be prosecuted.

“Assassin disguised as a civil servant. Their bloody hands killed an innocent kid,” tweeted Twitter user @Fuck_jakkrit.

Related
Human rights group demand investigation into police shooting of teen protesters
Thai police deny shooting protesters with live bullets after man shot in the neck

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