A pensioner allegedly took revenge on his childhood bully by shooting him dead at a school reunion party this weekend.
Thanapat Anakesri, 69, was invited to the event on Saturday afternoon to meet former classmates from the school in Ang Thong, central Thailand.
The group reminisced about their school life, 50 years ago, while tucking into a buffet of Thai food and drinking wine followed by ice cream.
But at the end of the party, the pensioner confronted his former tormentor Suthat Kosayamat, 69, about how he bullied him when they were both 16.
Former navy officer Thanapat began arguing with Suthat, a tailor, who said he could not remember what had happened between them.
Thanapat reportedly ordered Suthat to apologize but he refused and told him to forget about it – sparking a fight between the pair.
But then, Thanapat allegedly drew a handgun gun and shot his former classmate before fleeing the room.
Suthat was rushed to the hospital and later pronounced dead.
The class of 1966 president Tuean Klakang, 69, who organized the event, told police that Thanapat would often complain about Suthat, but he did not believe it was such a serious issue.
Tuean said: ‘Thanapat would get drunk then often talk about how angry he was about being bullied by Suthat. He never forgot about it.
‘But as these things happened such a long time ago, I would never have imagined that he would have killed his friend like this. We are all shocked by it.’
Suthat was given a traditional Buddhist funeral yesterday with devastated friends and relatives paying tribute to the ‘caring and kind’ man.
Police are now searching for Thanapat as he has fled his home and is now believed to be living in a neighbouring province.
Police Captain Sombat Somboondee said officers found a 9mm cartridge and another dummy round at the scene.
The Ang Thong Provincial Court has issued an arrest warrant for Thanapat on charges of murder.
The police chief said: ‘Initially, we will charge him for murder and carrying a gun without a license. We also have a lead that he is hiding in Singburi province so officers are searching the area.
‘From speaking to witnesses, the shooting appears to have happened after a personal dispute between the killer and the victim from a long time ago.