Australians John Edward Cohen, 33, and Adam Lewis Shea, 26, were remanded in custody in Phuket Prison yesterday after briefly apearing in court to face charges of attempted murder and illegal possesion of a weapon.
The pair will appear in court again every 12 days until the Phuket prosecutor is ready to proceed with the case against them, a senior Patong officer said last night.
''The network of security cameras around Patong is now so comprehensive that the men were both arrested in different parts of Patong within 15 minutes,'' said Colonel Akanit Danpitaksat, deputy superintendent of the local station.
Early last month, Mr Cohen went to Patong police to complain that a Danish man named Dennis had rented a motorcycle from him but had not paid the bill for two months' rent.
Mr Cohen, who runs several tattoo shops in Patong, went looking for Dennis on Tuesday night, carrying a photograph and questioning hotels whether they had seen Dennis.
He and Mr Shea were walking down Soi Sansabai, the colonel said, when he thought he saw Dennis riding past on a motorcycle.
''Outside the Family Mart store, Mr Cohen fired two shots and hit two German tourists by mistake,'' Colonel Akanit said.
While bystanders helped Johann Baschenegger, 41, and Joseph Woerner, 71, police pursued Mr Cohen and Mr Shea and quickly apprehended them both.
Mr Cohen had confessed to the shooting but had yet to say how he obtained the gun, a Ruger P345, the colonel said.
Senior police from southern police headquarters met with police on Phuket yesterday and opted to reinforce the number of police on the island.
Last year, soon after a knife-wielding robber killed Australian grandmother Michelle Smith, 60, Australian Ambassador James Wise called on police on Phuket to try to clear the island of all weapons.