An off-duty police officer shot dead a French tourist in Bangkok. The murder occurred after a fight between the two men in nearby a bar escalated.
In the morning of Wednesday, December 12, Pol Capt Pasagon Ganju of Lumpini Police Station in Bangkok was notified of a shooting involving a foreigner in a nearby condominium. “We received the call at 07:20,” Pol Capt Pasagon said. “That was all the information we got at that point.”
Pol Capt Pasagon, who serves as Deputy Inspector of Investigation at the police station and other officers descended to the scene. High-ranking officers arrived at the scene, among them Pol Lt Gen Surachet “Big Joke” Hakpan, Commissioner-General of the Immigration Bureau and Deputy Commissioner-General of the Royal Thai Police Pol Gen Chaloemgiaradi Sriwonkan.
Further officers were also present, including Metropolitan Police Division 5, Pol Maj Gen Mongkon Waruno, Pol Maj Gen, Commander of Division 1, Pol Maj Gen Itipon Adchariya and several other high-ranking investigative police officers.
Police found the body of a middle-aged man, identified as 41-year-old French national Djamal Kaki, on the ground in the lobby of the condominium Trendy Office & Plaza on 10 Sukhumvit Soi 13 in Bangkok’s Klong Tan Nuea subdistrict in the district of Watthana.
“The body was lying face-up in front of a Dunkin Donuts shop, ” Pol Maj Gen Mongkon revealed. He was dressed in a black t-shirt and maroon-coloured shorts. A pool of blood surrounded his head.
Upon a brief medical examination, police found out that Mr Kaki, who was a frequent visitor to Thailand, had been shot twice; gunshot wounds were discovered on the right side of his hip and his stomach. Two empty cartridges were found nearby the body.
Shortly after the murder, Pol Sen Sgt Maj Gandapong, who had been off-duty at the time of the murder, Huadsri surrendered to the police and was stripped of his rank. The 49-year-old police officer confessed to the crime and was arrested immediately, Pol Lt Gen Surachet confirmed. He died instantly.
The investigation into the murder revealed that both Mr Kaki and the now sacked police officer had known each other for almost a year. 32-year-old Jawanjira Nutakrai, the girlfriend of the victim, told police the course of events that eventually led to Mr Kaki’s death.
“Ms Jawanjira told us that the crime began when the three were drinking in a bar, the Lucky Shot Food and Bar on Sukhumvit Soi 11/1.” According to her, a brawl broke out that quickly escalated to a fist fight. Mr Kaki had become jealous when he saw his girlfriend talking too long with former policeman Mr Gandapong.
Records of a nearby surveillance camera showed three men and two women in front of the bar. “They were fighting, kicking each other with their legs and fists,” police told reporters later that day.
“During the brawl, Mr Gandapong fell to the ground. Both were mildly injured in the fight.” “About two minutes into the fight, the footage shows Mr Kaki walking away. Mr Gandapong followed him. He already carried a gun, a semi-automatic SIG Sauer P320SP 9×19mm Parabellum, in his right hand which he had left at the entrance because he was not allowed to bring it into the bar.”
After the two disappeared from the camera view, Mr Kaki ran into the 350-metres far away Trendy Building where he and Ms had been Jawanjira staying on the 8th floor. Mr Gandapong was still in pursuit of Mr Kaki, eyewitnesses told police.
“Mr Kaki had just entered the building when Mr Gandapong caught up with him.” Footage of a CCTV camera> inside the lobby showed Mr Kaki trying to escape when the ex-policeman aimed his gun at him. “He shot the victim from less than a metre away, in the chest and his hip.” Mr Kaki fell collapsed in front of a Dunkin Donuts shop and died within minutes, a preliminary police report stated.
“Mr Gandapong fled the scene but shortly later surrendered at Lumpini Police Station. We interrogated him and charged him with murder.” The next day, police brought him to the Southern Bangkok Criminal Court to apply for the first 12-day detention. The court denied Mr Gandapong’s request for bail.
Six years ago, in 2012, Mr Gandapong was already sued for murder after he shot a taxi driver whom he suspected was involved with illegal drugs. He argued that he had shot the man in self-defence and thus continued to serve in the police force.
While the investigation into the alleged murder continues, Immigration Bureau chief Pol Lt Gen Surachate instructed investigators at Lumpini Police Station “to handle the case in strict accordance with the law and do nothing to help their colleague”, an article published in the Bangkok Post revealed.
Volunteers of the Ruamkatanyu Foundation brought the body to Police General Hospital for further medical examination. Since the case “damaged the country’s image, especially the police force and the tourism sector,” Pol Lt Gen Surachate took it upon himself to coordinate with the French Embassy, he announced.
Please note: On the requests of Mr Kaki’s family members, certain pictures haven pixelated and removed.
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- December 12, 2018: "Cop facing murder charge after French tourist shot dead" ( bangkokpost.com )