A primary school headteacher arrested today for killing three people during a gold shop robbery in a Thai shopping mall has told police he did it to ‘spice up his boring life’, according to local media reports.
Prasittichai Khaokaew, 38, told officers he carried out the £12,000 raid – and shot dead a shop assistant, a security guard and a two-year-old boy – because he ‘needed a challenge and excitement’, a source told the Bangkok Post.
Khaokaew was arrested by armed police as he drove to work this morning in his BMW 5 Series car.
He was said to have been turned in by his wife after she recognised the motorcycle he escaped on and the way he walks on CCTV footage of the massacre.
The suspect took police to a spot along a secondary road where he ditched the clothes he wore on the day of the crime
An angry mob looked on as the suspect was led into a police station today by armed officers as the authorities warned against vigilante attacks.
A source said: ‘Mr Prasitthichai said that he committed the crime because he was bored with his life and needed a challenge and excitement to spice it up. He knew well that police would finally arrest him.’
Police said they found 9mm pistol ammunition in his car, the same calibre used by gunman, but no weapon.
CCTV footage shows the moment the robber opened fire as he held up the gold store
Wilaiwan Wongyu is seen on CCTV holding her two-year-old son’s hand moments before the crazed gunman opens fire and kills the little boy, a security guard and a young woman
Wilaiwan Wongyu, pictured with her two-year-old son Panuwich, said the guilt of not being able to protect him is ‘overwhelming’
The source said he used his father’s Czech-made CZ SP-01 semi-automatic pistol and told police he gave it back the day after the massacre.
He borrowed the red Yamaha Fino motorcycle he used during the hold-up from his father-in-law and also returned that the next day.
The source added that detectives did not really believe the suspect had killed for the thrill and were continuing to question him.
On Wednesday the suspect took police to a spot along a secondary road where he ditched the clothes he wore on the day of the crime.
CCTV shows the gunman fleeing on a motorcycle which the suspect is said to have borrowed from his father-in-law and was recognised by his wife
Khaokaew was handcuffed and hauled in for questioning today by armed police and was seen being led into a police station in a baseball cap and surgical mask
Prasittichai Khaokaew, 38, was turned in by his wife after she apparently recognised his motorcycle and the way he walks on CCTV footage of the massacre
He claims to have dumped the gold he stole in a river.
The gunman opened fire in the Robinson’s mall in Lopburi, about 100 miles north of Bangkok, on January 9, killing two-year-old Panuwich Wongyu who was walking hand-in-hand with his mother.
Shop assistant Thidarat Thongthip, 31, and security guard Teerachat Nimma, 33, were also killed before the robber fled on his moped with £12,000 worth of gold and jewellery.
Khaokaew was handcuffed and hauled in for questioning today by armed police and was seen being led into a police station in a baseball cap and surgical mask.
Police described him as a ‘gun enthusiast’ and the wealthy director of Wat Pho Chai School in neighbouring Singburi province where he is in charge of 40 kindergarten and primary pupils.
Police General Chakthip Chaijinda urged angry vigilante mobs not to take revenge on the suspect and said: ‘Let police finish the investigation’.
He insisted Khaokaew was ‘definitely not a scapegoat’ and added: ‘The suspect was cooperative. He did not resist arrest.’
Local media reported that his wife had turned him in after recognising his gait and motorcycle from CCTV. She could be in line for the £12,000 reward offered to find the killer.
The bloodbath shocked the country and heartbreaking CCTV showed tragic Panuwich walking hand-in-hand with his mother Wilaiwan moments before he was shot.
There was also footage of Mrs Wongyu cradling her seriously injured son before he was rushed to hospital where he later died.
Chilling footage shows the gunman leaping on to the gold store counter during the raid
The gunman shot dead three poeple before fleeing with £12,000 worth of gold and jewellery
Mrs Wongyu later told of her ‘overwhelming’ guilt that she couldn’t protect him.
She said: ‘Everything has happened so fast, I was with him then he was gone.
‘The guilt of not being able to protect my son is overwhelming.
‘My husband and I love him so much that we can only hope we can be a happy family again in our next lives.’
Heartbreaking CCTV shows Mrs Wongyu cradling her seriously injured son Panuwich after the shooting (left) before he was rushed to hospital where he later died.
Shocking CCTV footage showed the terrifying moment the robber opened fire during the botched robbery
Police Colonel Kritsana Pattanacharoen said after the robbery: ‘We believe the robber has been trained in the use of weapons.
‘Studying the gestures he made when shooting, it is unlikely to be someone who has never used guns before.
‘The equipment he had was specialised and not something that is easily acquired.’
Paramedics attend to the wounded after the Thai shopping mall bloodbath
Source: Daily Mail – Articles