A man facing murder charges in the shooting death of his wife and two of her family members has confessed he acted out of jealousy when he learned his wife wanted to return to her ex-husband, police say.
Noppadol Nuamsamlee, 41, was arrested shortly after the fatal shooting of his wife Sujittra Chiangbai, 23, her sister Jitra Chiangbai, 25, and their mother Lawan, 45, on Maha Sitthichok Road in Muang district of this northeastern province on Friday afternoon.
Police took the suspect for a crime re-enactment in Muang district on Saturday morning.
Police said the incident began after Mr Noppadol and his wife left their rented house in Muang district to go shopping on Friday. While driving his pickup, Mr Noppadol demanded to know why his wife was still in touch with her ex-husband, with whom she had a son who is now 5 years old.
After stopping his pickup on Maha Sitthichok Road, the man allegedly assaulted his wife, who phoned her sister for help. When Jittra and her mother arrived at the scene, the man fired shots at them as they tried to help her. He later fired two shots at his wife before fleeing. All three women died at the scene. Police subsequently arrested the suspect on the road.
During interrogation, the suspect admitted he carried out the shootings in a fit of jealousy, police said. He told police he had become angry after he found records of chats between his wife and her ex-husband on her mobile phone.
Mr Noppadol, a resident of Bang Lamung district in Chon Buri, insisted he still loved his wife and was willing to accept punishment for what he had done, police said.
He was due to appear in Nakhon Phanom provincial court later on Saturday to face charges of murder and carrying a firearm in public. Police said they would oppose bail.
Paijit Chiangbai, 60, who lost his two daughters and his wife, said he could not come to terms with the losses. He said he never thought Mr Noppadol, who had lived with his younger daughter for a year, could be so cruel.
He said he would not forgive the suspect, and did not want him released on bail for fear the suspect would kill him. Mr Paijit arrived at the crime scene shortly after the shootings on Friday, and said the suspect pointed a gun at him and threatened to fire if he tried to intervene.
Mr Paijit also said he never thought his daughter would return to her former husband as both had been separated for a long time and her ex-husband already had a new family. The gunman also had an 8-year-old daughter from his previous marriage.
Ratchadaporn Thongkhlee, 25, friend of Jittra, said the suspect had earlier threatened to shoot her and Jittra and accused them of encouraging Sujittra to return to her ex-husband. The suspect had earlier assaulted his wife several times, said Ms Ratchadaporn.