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One of two policemen involved in the Phuket park shooting

Phuket Police, Gang in Gun Battle: One Dead

Monday, November 23, 2009
Photo Album Above

THE BODY of a man was left to float in a lake in a popular Phuket City public park this afternoon after a shootout between a fleeing gang of robbers and pursing police.

The gun battle took place about noon in Suan Luang park, off Chao Fa Road East, near the turnoff to Cape Panwa.

Police arrested two men and two others in the gang fled. No guns have been recovered.

Five men took a valuable Buddhist statuette to a shop near the park to sell, police said. The statuette had been stolen from a house in Patipat Road, on the opposite side of Phuket City, earlier in the morning.

Two police on a motorcycle patrol noticed the five men at the shop, and went to investigate. The five men saw the police approaching and ran, leaving the statuette.

The police gave chase as the gang ran into the Suan Luang park, behind the row of shops.

Bullets began flying. Two of the men plunged into the lake in the park and swam away. Another two turned back to the row of shops, climbed onto the rooftop, then jumped back down into Chao Fa Road East.

By this time, people had heard the gunfire, seen what was happening, and reacted. Locals grabbed the two men and held them until police reinforcements arrived.

The fifth alleged robber was shot and fell into the lake. He was named by police as Amnad Rodpradit, 32, from Phuket.

It took some time for his body to be recovered from the lake and a crowd of about 200 gathered. A little later, after forensic police had examined the scene, the body was removed.

The policeman who shot Khun Amnad told Phuketwan the circumstances of the pursuit and how the man came to be killed.

It was the most dramatic incident on the island since a triple-murder and a shootout between gangs in Patong that left one man dead.
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