Police bank on clues from survivor in Krabi massacre

national July 12, 2017 01:00


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POLICE are preparing sketches of the gunmen behind the shocking massacre of a village head’s family in Krabi province. The sketches are being drawn based on descriptions provided by a survivor.

A female victim miraculously survived the attack because a bullet just scraped her right temple on Monday night. 

“She fainted during the shooting, which might have misled her attackers into believing that she was already dead. But after she regained consciousness and they left the scene, she alerted officials,” a source said yesterday. 

Worayuth Sunglung, a village head, and seven other family members were fatally shot in an execution-style attack inside their home in Krabi’s Ao Luk district on Monday night. Three other family members survived their gunshot wounds. Victims included women and children. 

After the crime was reported, national police Commissioner Pol General Chaktip Chaijinda not only ordered the Crimes Suppression Division (CSD) to act quickly, but also took a helicopter flight to Krabi to oversee the investigation. “Personally I believe the motive is a serious personal conflict,” he was quoted by AFP as saying. 

An ongoing police investigation suggests that there are several possible motives behind the massacre: Worayuth’s conflicts with the chief executive of a tambon administrative organisation; a dispute over the plan to set up a stone mill that has intensified during the past month; Worayuth’s lawsuit to force eight alleged encroachers off public land; drug issues; and Worayuth’s move to chase a misbehaving teacher out of his area. 

Police said the attackers must have carefully planned the massacre. 

According to the survivor with minor injuries, at least six armed attackers showed up in military-style camouflage and claimed that they needed to search the house. 

All family members were then detained for several hours. When Worayuth returned to the house that also serves as his office, he was handcuffed. Finally, he and all his family members were shot. Of them, three have survived. 

“The attackers have collected all bullet casings from the scenes of the crime. They have also taken away a hard disk linked to the CCTV system,” a police source said.

Captain Suwit Kaewpreecha, deputy inspector of Ao Luk Police Station in Krabi, was alerted to the massacre about 1.30am yesterday. 

Initially, five victims died at the scene and three others, including Worayuth, succumbed later at a hospital.

Police said the attackers used two vehicles, one of them being a Toyota Fortuner with a Songkhla licence plate. Following the crime, they took away Worayuth’s car and his four guns. 

Pol Colonel Krissana Pattanacharoen, a deputy spokesman for the National Police Office, said police had already interviewed several witnesses in the case. 

Krabi’s police chief Pol Maj-General Worawit Panprung said police would try to check recordings from CCTV cameras on main roads to determine if any of them had captured the suspects’ vehicles. 

A number of locals turned up at the funeral of Worayuth’s family members yesterday. 

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