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Tuk-tuk driver shot 9 times by rival

Tuk-tuk driver

SONGKHLA: A tuk-tuk driver was fighing for his life in hospital on Monday after being shot nine times by a rival driver at Hat Yai railway station on Sunday.

Police said Sao Puangthong, 40, was shot by Chaowalit Phuthaksin, 40. They were members of the same tuk-tuk queue, operating from one side of Hat Yai railway station.

Colleagues and relatives said the two men had been at odds for a long time, competing for and fighting over passengers.

Tuk-tuk driver
Footage from a surveillance camera shows the back of Sao Puangthong as he and rival tuk-tuk driver Chaowalit Phuthaksin confront each other during their quarrel outside Hat Yai railway station on Sunday afternooon. (Supplied)

Witnesses told police a train had arrived at the station about 3pm. The two men had again quarrelled.

Mr Sao was looking for a passenger and Mr Chaowalit came at him from behind and fired six shots from a revolver. Mr Sao dropped to the ground.

Mr Chaowalit allegedly reloaded his gun and fired another three shots at Mr Sao, who was already lying on the ground.

Mr Sao was hit by a total of nine bullets and was rushed to Hat Yai Hospital, where he was in a critical condition. 

A police officer who happened to be at the scene, Pol Sen Sgt Maj Suwit Kamlang, immediately detained Mr Chaowalit, who surrendered without resistance and handed over a .38 revolver.

Mr Chaowalit told police that he and Mr Sao had quarrelled. He said he bought the revolver about two days ago to protect himself. It was not registered.

He was being held for legal action.

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