A DRUNK policeman pulled out his pistol and fired a warning shot to threaten a foreigner in front of a well-known nightclub at Patong beach in Phuket then fired two shots at a young noodle vendor who had stepped in to help, Thai Rath newspaper said today (Feb. 23).
The shooting occurred just before dawn at 5.45 a.m. in front of Illuzion nightclub on Soi Bangla and when the Patong police team together with rescuers got there they found Mr. Arun Thongplub, 25, who sold noodles in Kathu district, lying supine in serious condition after being shot in his right armpit and at left in the back.
Rescuers quickly rushed him to Patong Hospital from where he was later transferred to Vachira Phuket Hospital.
Eye-witnesses told police that the noodle vendor was riding past the area on his motorcycle when he saw a drunk man arguing with a foreigner and then drawing his pistol and firing a shot in the air. He went in to see what was going on and was himself shot twice.
The drunk man was later identified as a policeman who was formerly attached to the investigation unit at Phuket Provincial Police and had just been transferred to Provincial Police Region 8. He was celebrating his transfer with his friends when the incident occurred. He remained seated in front of the bar and was taken to the police station for questioning.
Pol. Col. Suchin Nilabdee, head of Patong police station, said as this policeman was still very drunk they were as yet unable to get clear answers from him. However he insisted that legal action would be taken against him.
Meanwhile Pol. Maj. Gen. Naphanwut Liamsanguan, head of investigation at Provincial Police Region 8, said this policeman was to report to duty at 1 p.m. today but the shooting occurred before then.
The scene of the shooting where a noodle vendor got seriously injured. Photos: Thai Rath