Police Hunt For Suspect Who Killed 3 in Lopburi Gold Heist

A still from CCTV footage showing the suspect walking into Robinson shopping mall with a handgun on Jan. 9, 2020.
A still from CCTV footage showing the suspect walking into Robinson shopping mall with a handgun on Jan. 9, 2020.

LOPBURI — Police on Friday were authorized to use deadly force on a man who shot dead three people, including a 2-year-old bystander, during a goldsmith robbery last night.

Police spokesman Krissana Pattanacharoen said a province-wide operation was launched to search for the fugitive, who remains unidentified. Police said he opened fire at customers and staff at a gold shop inside Robinson department store in Lopburi city before fleeing with necklaces worth over 500,000 baht.

In a CCTV footage of the attack that has gone viral on social media, the suspect is seen walking straight to the store at about 8.30pm.

The suspect immediately fired his handgun at customers who were browsing for gold and a staff member who was attending them. He then jumped over the counter and stuffed gold necklaces into a bag.

On his way out, he shot an unarmed security guard who tried to stop him. A 2-year-old boy and other bystanders were also hit by stray bullets, according to the police.

Shop attendant Suphawadi Chumsnit, 44, security guard Prasert Kongsi, 22, and bystander Phanuwith Wongyhu, 2, were killed. Four people were injured.

Regional police chief Ampon Buarabporn said a reward of 100,000 baht will be given to anyone with information leading to the arrest, but he warned that the suspect is considered armed and dangerous.

National police chief Chakthip Chaijinda also authorized use of deadly force should the suspect resisted the arrest.

The suspect remains at large and yet to be named.