Wracked with grief at the news of their son’s death in France in a suspected terror attack, a sobbing Sukree Seubsaman and Yok-rhang Seubsaman declined to talk to reporters Wednesday.
Instead, 73-year-old Suchart Seubsaman came out to talk about the twist of fate that led to his nephew being shot dead in front of his wife on the first day of their French vacation in Strasbourg.
“Actually they were going to go to Paris, but because of the [yellow jacket] protests, they went to that city instead,” Suchart said. “But then this happened unexpectedly.”
Anuphong Seubsaman, a 45-year-old noodle factory owner from Chachoengsao, was among at least three people killed and 13 wounded in Place Kleber, the city’s central square, after a suspected extremist opened fire on crowds attending an evening Christmas market.
Suchart said that Anuphong and his wife Naiyana Seubsaman helped run the family noodle factory east of the capital and sold clothes in Bangkok’s Pratunam area. The couple loved to travel abroad for leisure and also to find clothing to sell, he said.
The factory continued to operate today while the family awaits help from the Foreign Affairs Ministry and their insurance company to bring back Anuphong home. The couple had no children.
“Unfortunately a Thai person was killed, and I offer my condolences to Khun Anuphong’s family,” Foreign Affairs Minister Don Pramudwinai said Wednesday.
Don said no other Thais were injured, and that the consulate in Paris would offer assistance to Anuphong’s widow, Naiyana Seubsaman, who was with him on the trip.
“This news directly affects Thais, but there are not a lot of Thais in Strasbourg, unlike in Paris,” Don said.
Anuphong was shot in the head outside a restaurant while Naiyana escaped injury. The couple was traveling alone and not with children as some outlets initially reported, the minister added.
According to local police, the 29-year-old gunman, Cherif Chekatt, was born and raised in Strasbourg and was on an extremist watch list. He has a long record of 25 criminal cases and remains at large.
A witness on the scene said they tried to save Anuphong and carried him into the restaurant, but he was too far gone.