A manhunt is underway for suspected gunman Thananchai Manmak, 45, who allegedly killed a highway police officer and seriously injured another during a promotion discussion in Muang district, Nakhon Pathom province, on Wednesday evening. The police have deployed a team of Crime Suppression Division (CSD) officers led by deputy Pol Col Pornsak Laolujiralai, as well as officers from Provincial Police Region 7, to various locations in Nakhon Pathom and nearby provinces in their search for the suspect.
Suspect and Motive
The suspect, Manmak, is believed to be a henchman of Praween Chankhlai, alias Kamnan Nok, a local tambon chief. The incident happened at around 10 pm in front of a house in tambon Takong in Muang district. A witness claimed that Kamnan Nok had invited a group of highway police officers to his house for a dinner meeting intended to build familiarity.
Two of the officers present were Pol Maj Sivakorn Saibua, chief of highway police station 1 under the Highway Police Sub-division 2, and Pol Lt Col Wasin Panpee, deputy commander of the Highway Police Sub-division 2. During the discussion, Kamnan Nok attempted to convince the officers to promote a highway police officer under Pol Maj Sivakorn’s supervision. Pol Maj Sivakorn disagreed, stating that promotions must follow regulations and be dependent on performance.
After a heated argument, Kamnan Nok left the scene in frustration. Moments later, Manmak approached the table, took out a gun, and opened fire. Pol Maj Sivakorn sustained seven gunshot wounds and later died due to his injuries, while Pol Lt Col Wasin was shot in the left arm and hospitalized.
The national police chief, Pol Gen Damrongsak Kittiprapas, ordered a dragnet operation to arrest Manmak because of the brazen nature of the crime. The Nakhon Pathom Court issued an arrest warrant for Manmak on charges including intentional murder, attempted murder, and illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition.
Pol Gen Torsak Sukvimol, the deputy police chief, emphasized the audacity of the attack, which occurred in a public setting and in front of several witnesses. He expressed concern for public safety and ordered officers to apprehend the suspect quickly. Any individuals found to be involved in the incident would face arrest warrants and legal consequences, he warned.