Police have arrested and charged three suspects linked to the August 28 fatal shooting of a 19-year-old polytechnic college student, Noppakao Sukhontharat, at Soi Rat Uthit 23 in Bangkok’s Min Buri district, deputy city police chief Pol Maj-General Sompong Chingduang said on Monday.
An initial police investigation had found that the motive behind the killing was not a brawl between rival colleges but a previous personal conflict between the Soi Rat Uthit 23 youths’ group, of which Noppakao was a member, and the Soi Rat Uthit 26 youths’ group, of which the three suspects were members, Sompong said.
Police would not be taking the suspects to perform a crime re-enactment because the captured youths had refused to do so, as per their rights, he added.
Sompong participated in the Min Buri police’s interrogation of the suspects, namely, alleged shooter Wirat Rassamee, 19, and two alleged accomplices – Jiratthitikan Preungkan-ngan, 19, and another boy, aged under 18.
The three suspects – one of whom, Wirat, has a police record for a prior crime of assault – were arrested, and police seized a pistol as the alleged murder weapon bought via the Internet, plus 16 bullets, two full-head helmets and two motorcycles, the deputy Bangkok police chief said.
The information they gave also led police to retrieve the victim’s shotgun and a cartridge they had taken and disposed of in an overgrown spot in Soi Ramkhamhaeng 68.
Wirat has been charged with murder, illegal possession of a gun, and taking a gun to a public place without sound reason, while the other two youths have been charged with aiding him in committing the crime.
Police are looking for a fourth person – alleged getaway motorcycle rider Weerasak Boonpeng, 19 – whose relatives contacted them by telephone, promising to bring him in soon, Sompong said.