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Three men died seated at this ''table'' in Chalong.  A fourth is fighting for life.

Phuket Massacre: Three Shot Dead, One Wounded

Sunday, August 9, 2009
Updating Report: The Chalong Party Massacre

THREE men were shot dead near Chalong Circle last night by a killer in a black Toyota Vigo pickup. A fourth victim is fighting for his life in hospital.

The killer remains on the loose, Colonel Boonlert On-klang, of Chalong Police, said today. The apparent motive for the massacre in the island's south: an argument among friends that became deadly.

Three fatalities in a single shooting is a tally that cannot be recalled before in any Phuket murder, and it follows a call by Phuketwan for authorities to curtail the number of guns on the island.

''We are still gathering evidence and hoping that we can talk to the man in Vachira Hospital soon to learn more about what happened,'' the colonel said.

The man in hospital in Phuket City is reported to be in a serious condition.

Others nearby also witnessed the killings, Colonel Boonlert said.

The shooter pulled up in a pickup about 1am at a house about 100 metres down a laneway off Wiset Road, the main road from Chalong Circle to Rawai.

The turning into the soi is about 500 metres from the roundabout, opposite a school. A party was being held at the house, and people were sitting outside drinking.

''The man stopped his vehicle, shot four people in their heads at close range, then drove off,'' the colonel said.

One neighbor told police there were at first five people sitting around outside at the party, there was an argument, and one of the men left the scene.

Police believe he returned to settle the argument with a gun.

Dramatic photographs of the aftermath show a bottle and two barely touched plastic glasses of beer sitting on a large, battered cable spool that was being used as a table.

Two men lie splayed on the ground. A third man remains seated on a concrete bench, of the kind decorated to look like tree branches, with his head thrown back.

None of them are likely to move anytime soon. Behind the bodies and the improvised table is a shack.

Killed were Kowit Nongmanee, 36, Somsak Rodchoi, 29, and a man identified at this stage only by his nickname, Khun Tea.

In hospital, critically wounded, is Yotin Singpakosit,35.

The early morning massacre follows the recent gunning down of a young man in Bang Tao and the suicide with an unregistered weapon by an expat American, in premises on the road to Chalong pier.

Last month, as foreign ministers and delegates from 27 nations met on Phuket under the Asean banner, a gunfight between gangs took place in Patong in broad daylight, leaving one man dead and another three wounded.

Phuketwan Comment

by Alan Morison

THE NUMBER of shooting deaths on Phuket made it evident to Phuketwan some weeks ago that the island was becoming less safe than any holiday destination should be, for both residents and visitors.

Almost every day now, Phuketwan is sent emails reporting gunshots in some part of the island the previous night, most often in Patong.

The Chalong Party Massacre makes Phuketwan's call for action a loud shout that the authorities have to heed immediately.

Absolute order is what will make the island a secure place for national leaders from 16 countries to meet in October, and for law-abiding people to live before and after.

Phuket must aim to be gun-free. Reducing the guns to a bare minimum will reduce the threats and thuggery that some prefer as their option in conducting business or settling arguments on the island.

At present, South East Asia's premium tropical holiday destination carries all the hallmarks of a lawless Wild West town, where corruption and the gun rule.

With 'Gun Island' still smoking today and three more deaths being notched, it's high time for the local and national authorities to ride in and clear out the rattlesnakes.

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Comments

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The New road from Chalong to Patong is an absolute must for the future development of Phuket and I fully endorse the Governors efforts.

Traffic density around Chalong circle is now at an all time high and consumes the time of the police far too much when I am sure they have much more important duties to perform.

If the law prohibits roadside structures (to be clearly defined) above 80m and regular inspections are implemented then it can be controlled.

If you were to petition the inhabitants of the Chalong area, who hate the road congestion, I am sure it would be resoundingly endorsed.

Posted by retireeexpat on August 10, 2009 16:21

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Enforcement of existing gun laws would be a start. If the police prosecuted those who carried without a permit (and permits weren't issued to criminals for a little tea money)....

Things won't improve until the police clean their own house.
I love Phuket but I'm afraid things can only get worse.

Posted by MrLucky on August 11, 2009 00:24

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People who use guns in crimes usually don't bother to own them legally. ENFORCE the existing laws, don't punish law abiding citizen's rights to defend themselves with a gun ban criminals will only ignore.
Half-assed gun control doesn't work in US, and won't work here, either.

Posted by Gunless Foreigner on August 12, 2009 08:22


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