A special police task force has been deployed today in the hunt for a lone robber who shot dead three people and wounded four other shoppers in a daring gold shop raid at a department store in Thailand on Thursday night.
The robber, who reportedly wore a ski mask, army boots and camouflage clothing, was armed with a suppressed handgun and a long knife.
The police have been ordered to track the robber down and to shoot to kill if he resists arrest, according to an informed police source quoting Pol Lt-Gen Amphon Buarupporn, commissioner of the Region 1 Provincial Police Bureau.
Eyewitnesses report that lone robber walked into the Orora gold shop, located in the Robinson department store, just as it was about to close and opened fire at and killed a female shop employee.
The robber then continued to fire at the shop and its security guard, identified later as 32-year Thirachat Nimma, who tried to intervene but was hit. He managed to run out of the department store but died just the opposite.
The robber later escaped on a motorcycle with an unspecified quantity of gold.
One of the gold shop’s employees said that three colleagues had been shot and one, Ms. Thidarat Thongtip, died at the scene.
The three fatalities include two-year-old Panuwit Wongyu, who died in hospital. The four injured were identified as Ms. Supawadee Choonsanit, Prasert Konglee, Ms. Paemika Klindokbua and Yutthakarn Choonsanit. All are still being treated in hospital.
A 100,000 baht cash reward has been offered, by the Royal Police Office, for any person who provides information that leads to arrest of the robber, said Pol Col Krisana Pattanachorn, the deputy police spokesman, today.
Nation police chief, Pol Gen Chakthip Chaijinda, has instructed police and the public to exercise caution because the suspect is armed and extremely dangerous.