Police are searching for two men who shot two people
setting up a “red shirt” political rally site in Pattaya.
Police are distributing this sketch of one of the suspects in hopes of
Prachuab Sudkrathok, 49, and Somchai Deesawat, 45,
were gunned down April 21 at a water table at the United Front for
Democracy Against Dictatorship rally site on Soi Khao Talo. Prachuab
suffered a minor gunshot wound to the leg and was released. Somchai,
shot through the abdomen and in the leg, remains hospitalized in serious
Police still have no leads on the identities of the
shooters, who pulled up to the water table on a Yamaha motorbike and
fired five shots into crowd before fleeing. Closed-circuit television
cameras near the rally were out of service, so police have only a fuzzy
image of the two young, helmetless riders from a camera 400 meters away.
While police suspect politics may be the motive for
the killing, investigators are keeping open the possibilities of a
personal dispute between the shooters and one of the injured men or even
the possibility it’s simply a random attack.
In any case, Pattaya and Chonburi Provincial Police
are taking the matter seriously, holding two briefings on the case on
consecutive days. In two interviews, Prachuab insisted he didn’t know
anyone who would want to hurt him for personal reasons. However, as an
associate of fugitive red shirt leader Arisman Pongruangrong, he could
be a political target.
Prachuab told police he had just returned about two
months ago from a trip abroad, but did not state whether he’d been in
contact with Arisman, who has been wanted by police since last year’s
red shirt uprising in Bangkok that left 91 people dead.
Somchai owns vehicles used to distribute UDD publications and had
come from Chachoengsao to help prepare for the red shirts’ rally April