Thai court shooter dies; police say opposing counsel was also armed

The courtroom where the shooting took place Tuesday morning. Photo: Happykaekamon / Twitter
The courtroom where the shooting took place Tuesday morning. Photo: Happykaekamon / Twitter

A retired police officer who opened fire inside a Chanthaburi courtroom died Tuesday afternoon after being shot by a lawyer for opposing counsel, and police are trying to figure out how so many guns got inside.

The 67-year-old gunman, former police officer Tanin Jantarahip, died of wounds sustained after he opened fire with an automatic pistol outfitted with a collapsible stock on the opposing party in a legal dispute he’d been enmeshed in for over a decade, a police investigator said.

“Three people have died so far today including two lawyers and the gunman. Two people still remain in critical condition,” regional police commander Jarun Jitjuenjoon told Coconuts Bangkok on Tuesday afternoon. 

The dead include Tanin the retired cop and his nemesis Bancha Parameesanaporn, a lawyer who had brought the undisclosed suit against Tanin. Also killed was one of Bancha’s lawyers, identified as Wijai Sookrom. Shot and in critical condition are Bancha’s wife, Supaporn Parameesanaporn, and Wichai Udomthanaphat, another attorney representing Bancha.

Maj. Gen. Jarun said Tanin was shot by a likewise armed lawyer representing Bancha in the case against Tanin. He did not say which man that was.

Mass shooting in Thai courtroom kills 2 as retired cop opens fire on opposing counsel

Asked why Tanin and others were able to bring weapons into the courtroom, Jarun said he did yet know.

“That’s what we’re trying to find out right now,” he said at about 3:30pm.

Bancha was a famous lawyer whose clients included high-profile figures including former national police chief and former PM Yingluck Shinawatra.

The details of the land dispute that led to today’s bloodbath have yet to be divulged.

The mass shooting occurred just after 9am in the courtroom, where Tanin and the other parties had arrived to hear the latest ruling in their long-running legal battle. Beforehand, they had reportedly gotten into a verbal argument upon arriving to the Chanthaburi Provincial Courtroom. That was when Tanin suddenly pulled out a gun and shot his opponents, according to reports.

Photos from the courtroom (warning: graphic) show bodies piled atop one another. One image shows a man lying in a pool of blood under a desk.

Photo: @happykaekamon / Twitter
Photo: @happykaekamon / Twitter
Casualties in today’s courtroom shooting being rushed to the hospital. Photo: Nalinee_OPLE / Twitter
Casualties in today’s courtroom shooting being rushed to the hospital. Photo: Nalinee_OPLE / Twitter

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