A BANGKOK POLICE sergeant turned himself in and confessed to shooting dead a French tourist on Wednesday morning following a pub brawl.
City police chief Pol Lt-General Sutthipong Wongpin said Pol Senior Sgt-Major Kantapong Huadsri, 49, assigned to Lumpini Police Station, confessed to having shot dead 41-year-old French national.
Kantapong now faces two charges of murder and carrying a gun to a public place, Lumpini superintendent Pol Colonel Akarawuth Thaneerat said.
Both Sutthipong and Metropolitan Police Division 5 commander Pol Maj-General Mongkol Warunno confirmed that Kantapong had been sacked from the police force after the murder.
Kantapong will be brought before the Southern Bangkok Criminal Court tomorrow to apply for the first 12-day detention.
Police were summoned at 8am to the ground floor of Trendy Building, where the tourist lay dead in front of a doughnut shop with bullet wounds in his chest and hip. Police collected two spent cartridges from the site.
The victim’s Thai girlfriend Kwanjira Yutthakrai, 32, told police that her boyfriend had quarrelled with a Thai man at the Lucky Shot bar on Sukhumvit Soi 11/1. She said the Thai man eventually retreated and they returned to their room on the 8th floor of Trendy Building, when the Thai man reappeared and shot the tourist dead before fleeing. The attacker was later identified as Kantapong.
The murder – which police say stemmed from a conflict over the victim’s girlfriend – was caught on security cameras.
Kantapong told investigators that he had known the tourist for nearly a year, and a drunken brawl broke out when he started speaking to the victim’s girlfriend. The gun used in the murder was confirmed to belong to Kantapong, who had reportedly left it at the bar’s entrance, as he was not allowed to bring it in.
Immigration Bureau chief Pol Lt-General Surachate Hakpal has instructed investigators at Lumpini Police Station to handle the case in strict accordance with the law and do nothing to help their colleague.
Since this case of a foreign tourist being murdered by a policeman will tarnish the country’s, especially the police force’s reputation, Surachate took it upon himself to coordinate with the French Embassy.
Lumpini superintendent Pol Colonel Akarawuth, meanwhile, told reporters Kantapong’s previous case, in which he shot dead a taxi driver who was a drug suspect in 2012, had been seen as an act of self-defence, which is why he continued to serve in the force.