Reaction to failed tests leads to siege
A 27-hour siege at a house in Bangkok’s Sai Mai district, where a mentally disturbed police officer fired his weapon more than 50 times, ended early Wednesday afternoon.
Pol Lt Col Kittikarn Saengbun, 51, an inspector attached to the Special Branch Bureau (SBB)’s Intelligence Development Centre, was shot and wounded by police commandos just after midday, ending the standoff, the Metropolitan Police Bureau said.
The wounded man was taken to hospital. No one else was injured.
National police chief Pol Gen Damrongsak Kittiprapas apologised to those affected.
“Police will provide compensation to houses damaged in the incident as soon as possible,” he said.
Pol Maj Gen Atthapol Anusit, commander of Metropolitan Police Division 2, who is responsible for the case, said initial investigations suggest the incident stemmed from the officer having a mental episode after learning he did not pass a performance assessment and a mental health test.
Sai Mai police and the Arintharat special task force were deployed to the scene after shots were heard in a housing estate on Soi Jeeramakorn in Sai Mai district around 11am Tuesday.
Pol Lt Col Kittikarn began firing shots into the air and inside his house on Tuesday as well as overnight. More shots were fired Wednesday morning.
The officer fired more than 50 rounds using two pistols.
A policeman on the street outside, Pol Sgt Sathaporn Kaewphuang of the Arintharat task force, was hit by a stray bullet on his helmet but was unhurt.
Efforts to calm the agitated officer failed.
Around 2.30am Wednesday, Arintharat task force officers fired about 20 tear gas canisters into the house.
Then at 5.05am, task force officers and police commandoes placed a ladder up to the second-floor balcony and threw stun grenades into the house.
Negotiation attempts resumed as police tried to persuade Pol Lt Col Kittikarn to surrender, but there was no response.
However, at 10.57am, Pol Lt Col Kittikarn agreed to talk via mobile phone, and asked for cigarettes from negotiators, according to reports.
At 12.17pm police stormed the house and an exchange of gunfire occurred, ending the siege.