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.
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.