AN army officer was shot dead at a military camp in Nakhon Phanom with police believing it was an inside job with personal issues, possibly a love affair, rather than conflict at work leading to his death, Sanook.com reported today (Feb. 11).
Lt Rung Chalerm, 34, was shot dead at 7.30 p.m. last evening within 210th Army Circle camp while riding his motorcycle home after work.
Pol. Maj. Gen. Thanachat Rodklongton, head of Nakhon Phanom provincial police, said the gunman had ridden up on a white motorcycle of unknown brand and registration number and shot the officer at close range. One shot went through his neck and another two through his armpit.
No casings were found at the spot of the murder but it is believed that a revolver was used. The deceased officer’s body has been sent to the Institute of Forensic Medicine, Khon Kaen province, for a preliminary autopsy.
It is assumed that this is an inside job because it is difficult for outsiders to get in. Those doing so are carefully examined at the front gate while the rear exit is a natural one which the killer would have used to escape. Surveillance cameras in this spot have been damaged for several months now.
Police give weight to personal problems, possibly adultery or drugs, rather than conflict with his supervisors but have not ruled out any possible motive.
Both the Nakhon Phanom investigation team and the one at Provincial Police Region 4 are working hard on this case and are now collecting evidence and questioning witnesses.
Maj. Gen. Samart Jintasamit, commander of 210th Army Circle, said the deceased officer had worked in southern Pattani province before being transferred to this northeastern province three years ago. Lt Rung Chalerm had moved up from the rank of sergeant and had graduated from Royal Thai Army School.
He insisted that there was no serious problem despite news spreading that the deceased lieutenant had conflicts with his supervisors. He too gave weight to a personal matters as having led to the officer being killed and also agreed with police that the perpetrator would be someone within the camp as he knew the escape route well.
Top: A partial image of the murdered army officer. Thai headline says, “inside job suspected.” Photo: Sanook.com