(21 March) A rape suspect has committed suicide in his residence after an 8-hours long standoff with the police.
The police had previously attempted to arrest Mr. Wuttiwong Saeku, 48, on charges of sexual assault, unlawful detention, and unauthorised possession of firearms related to an alleged rape case earlier this month.
When the police approached Mr. Wuttipong's residence in Nong Kai province yesterday however, the suspect responded by firing his handgun at the officers, although no one was hit by the shots fired. Mr. Wuttipong also shouted at the police telling them not to enter his house.
Later more than 40 police officers arrived at the scene to besiege Mr. Wuttipong's residence, while negotiators attempted to persuade the suspect to surrender, but Mr. Wutthipong insisted that he would only give up if the alleged rape victim withdrew all charges against him.
Furthermore, he claimed he had a shotgun and a handgun with at least 150 rounds of ammunition, which he threatened to use against the police and kill himself afterwards should they try to arrest him again. Police officers decide to lay siege to his house and wait.
At 04.00 this morning, a single gunshot could be heard inside the residence, however the police did not make a move until 07.00, when an assault squad was ordered to flush the suspect out of the building.
The officers threw two tear gas canisters into the bedroom on the lower floor before breaking the windows and doors of the residence. However, when the suspect did not respond for half an hour, the police decided to storm into the building and discovered that Mr. Wutthipong had committed suicide with his handgun.
Officers said the suspect had shot himself in his right temple.
According to court documents, the rape charge was filed against Mr. Wutthipong by his 20-years old stepdaughter. The woman said a month after her mother divorced Mr. Wutthipong, the suspect stormed into her house and raped her at gunpoint.
The police applied for arrest warrant after medical examination indicated that the victim had been sexually assaulted.
The news came a day after a newly unveiled report says more than 31,000 women and children were subject to sexual violence throughout Thailand in the year 2013 alone.