Police on Monday objected to the release on bail of a 30-year-old Thai man who had allegedly opened fire twice at a group of youngsters, reportedly merely to threaten them, but whose stray bullet fatally struck a Mathayom 2 schoolgirl instead in Buri Ram’s Lam Plai Mat district on Saturday afternoon.

The objection to bail was made when police brought Pichit Maneeterm to apply for a court detention order.

The suspect reportedly confessed to the charges of murder, having a gun and ammunition in his possession without permission, and carrying a gun to a public place, the court heard.

However, Pichit insisted that he had only intended to discharge the unregistered gun, which had been handed down to him from his father, to threaten whom he termed “rivals” that he claimed had also been carrying guns, police said.

He refused to perform a crime re-enactment for fear that he would be attacked by an angry crowd, said Lam Plai Mat precinct’s deputy inspector, Pol Captain Reungsak Saengkham.

In seeking a court order for an initial 12-day detention period, they objected to Pichit’s bail release on the grounds that this was a serious crime that had terrified the public, besides which the suspect may tamper with evidence and/or witnesses or flee.

Pichit was arrested in possession of the .38 pistol that he had allegedly used to shoot at a group of youngsters at Nong Krathum-Kwang Ngoei Bridge, while riding a motorcycle back from a local temple fair on Saturday.

The stray bullet hit the eye of a 14-year-old girl, who was riding pillion of one of the youngsters’ five motorcycles, and exited through the back of her ear.

She succumbed to the catastrophic injury and was later pronounced dead in hospital.