“Three men have been arrested for selling firearms to a 14-year-old boy who carried out a shooting spree in Siam Paragon shopping mall, resulting in two deaths and five injuries. The suspects deny all charges while the teenage shooter undergoes a psychiatric assessment. #Bangkok #SiamParagon #GunControl #SafetyFirst”
Blank Gun and Ammunition Sold to 14-Year-Old
Three men were arrested in Yala and Bangkok for allegedly selling firearms, including a blank gun and ammunition, to a 14-year-old boy who carried out a shooting spree in Siam Paragon shopping mall, Bangkok. The tragic incident resulted in the death of two foreign nationals and left five others wounded.
Arrests Made in Yala and Bangkok
A team of investigators from the Provincial Police Region 9 apprehended two of the suspects, Suwananhong Phramkhanajarn, 45, and his 22-year-old son Akkharawit Jaithong, at a house in tambon Sateng of Muang district, Yala. The duo was wanted on arrest warrants issued by the Bangkok South Criminal Court for colluding in illegal possession of firearms and ammunition and selling firearms and ammunition without permission.
Numerous items were seized during the arrest, including 209 rounds of ammunition for blank guns, 33 metal parts, two bank accounts, and nine magazines. The suspects were then transported to Bangkok for questioning.
The third suspect, 30-year-old Piyabut, was arrested in Bangkok, following the order from the Metropolitan Police Bureau commissioner, Pol Lt Gen Thiti Saengsawang, to gather evidence and seek court approval for issuing the warrants.
Online Firearms Purchase
Investigators discovered that the teenage suspect contacted an online gun seller and engaged in online conversations. Initially hesitant about purchasing a real gun due to its high price, the teenager opted to order 9mm bullets for 1,000 baht. He later received a parcel containing real bullets at his condominium room in Sathon district.
Subsequently, the teenager ordered a modified blank gun, which was used in the fatal shooting at the shopping mall. Lacking funds for the purchase, he borrowed money through an online lending application and transferred 16,000 baht to the seller, who then sent the gun to his condominium.
Suspects Deny Charges
During questioning, Suwananhong and Akkharawit denied all charges. A police source stated that the teenager had transferred the money to Suwananhong’s bank account, and he later withdrew the funds at an ATM booth in Yala.
Piyabut was implicated due to his involvement in selling and sending 9mm bullets to the teenager.
Aftermath of the Shooting Spree
The shooting at Siam Paragon on Rama 1 Road in Pathum Wan district caused chaos during peak hours, with hundreds fleeing as gunshots rang out. The victims were two women from China and Myanmar.
The teenage shooter was arrested soon after the incident. Maj Gen Samran Nuanma reported that the suspect had modified a gun designed for firing blank rounds to use live ammunition.
The boy, who is facing murder and other charges, has been remanded to a juvenile detention center, where he will undergo a psychiatric assessment.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1: What were the charges against the three men arrested for selling firearms to the 14-year-old shooter?
The three men were charged with colluding in illegal possession of firearms and ammunition and selling firearms and ammunition without permission.
Q2: How did the teenage shooter purchase the firearms and ammunition?
The teenage shooter contacted an online gun seller, engaged in online conversations, and ordered 9mm bullets for 1,000 baht. He later ordered a modified blank gun and borrowed money through an online lending application to transfer 16,000 baht to the seller.
Q3: What is the current situation of the teenage shooter?
The teenage shooter has been remanded to a juvenile detention center, where he will undergo a psychiatric assessment. He is facing murder and other charges.