Three people, including an innocent bystander, were injured in a gun fight in broad daylight, involving ten cars and over a dozen men from two rival ice factories, in Thailand’s central province of Ayutthaya yesterday (Monday).
Five suspects from one of the ice factories were later taken into police custody, together with four handguns.
Police said that one of the injured is a man who happened to be eating at a food shop near the scene of the shootout in Muang district.
Chainarong Chansida, the chief of Koh Rian sub-district, told the media that, two days ago, he went to settle a heated quarrel between employees of the two factories, over business conflict, and managed to separate the two groups. Both sides returned, however, and got into a scuffle, forcing him to intervene again and lodge a complaint with the district police.
He said that the two rival groups, in about ten cars, met again yesterday to settle their dispute, but ended up shooting at each other in the downtown area.
Police said they chased one red Hummer vehicle, after one of the men inside opened fire at some local administration officials, forcing them to take cover in the market. One of them, who suffered a gunshot wound, was later apprehendedby the police, together with a pistol, and was escorted to a hospital for medical treatment.
The Hummer vehicle was found abandoned on the roadside about two kilometres away. One brand new black pickup truck, with four men inside, was intercepted by police, with three handguns found inside. They were taken into custody for questioning.
This is the second brazen shootout in public in a week. Last Wednesday night, a gun fight, involving over a dozen men from two rival pubs, broke out in the car park of the Big C superstore in Ubon Ratchathani province, leaving three people dead and six injured.
Meanwhile, in Ubon Ratchathani province, police said today that they will seek a court warrant for the arrest of two more suspects allegedly involved in the shootout.
According to the police, eight guns have been confiscated from the suspects so far, including seven 9mm handguns and one 12-gauge shotgun. More than 150 spent rounds were found in the car park.
Gun violence in Thailand is the second highest in Southeast Asia, after the Philippines.