WANTED alleged gunman Narongsak Sealim was arrested at his apartment in Kata Noi about 6pm tonight by a combined force from Chalong and Karon Police Stations. He confessed to the shooting, police said.
PHUKET: Police have issued an arrest warrant for the man they believe shot a Russian in a car on Phuket in an apparent case of intense road rage.
Narongsak Sealim, 21, is out on bail for a drugs offence and posession of an illegal weapon. He is now wanted by police for attempted murder.
The Russian - believed to be a doctor - was shot in the stomach as he sat in the back of a hired car on the Rawai beach road on August 17.
Phuket's Police Commander, Major General Chote Chawanwiwat, announced to Phuket media that the case was closed today but the information proved to be in error.
The wanted man remains free.
The unnamed motorcycle pillion passenger, arrested for a drugs offence on Wednesday, agreed to inform on Khun Narongsak in exchange for his freedom.
However, when police checked at Phuket Prison they found that Khun Narongsak, arrested for a similar drugs offence and for carrying an illegal gun on August 27, had been released on bail on Monday.
The bullet he allegedly fired during the shooting entered low-down in the rear of the white Toyota Vios and hit Maxim Gradnkov, 32, in the stomach.
His two Russian friends in the front of the car, also believed to be doctors, realised what had happened and sped to Phuket International Hospital in Phuket City where the wounded man underwent surgery.
No vital organs had been struck by the bullet, which, after passing through the back-seat passenger, hit the front seat of the car then dropped to the floor.
Khun Narongsak was annoyed when the Russians cut him off not once but twice on Rawai's beach road, sounding the car's horn, according to the anonymous pillion passenger.
When the Russians parked their car, he pulled up behind the vehicle and fired the shot, police said, before speeding off.
The .9mm pistol was an illegal weapon and is now in Surat Thani, where further ballistic tests are being carried out, Phuket police said.
It's believed Khun Narongsak was riding the motorcycle and pulled over to fire the shot. The pasenger on the rear of the motorcycle played no part in the shooting, police said.
Road rage cases are reported intermittently on Phuket with some expats inclined to jump at shadows and report unconfirmed tales to the media rather than going to police.
In perhaps Phuket's most notable case of road rage, Pittaya Srijitraporn, 33, was sentenced to 13 years and four months in jail after wrestling and stabbing to death expat Wolf-Dieter Kesselheim, 66, in 2010.
Mr Kesselheim, angry at an incident on the road, followed Pittaya to a 7-Eeleven and had him in a headlock when he was stabbed in the stomach.
The judge said that in pulling the knife and stabbing Mr Kesselheim twice in the ribs, Pittaya went beyond self defence.
Pittaya was well-known to Phuket tourists as the keeper of sea eagles that were displayed for photographs at the Kata Viewpoint.
*An earlier report of this case was based on incorrect information. The article has been edited to make it clear that Khun Narong has yet to be arrested for the shooting offence. he is on bail awaiting trial over a drugs charge.