SURAT THANI—A gunfight broke out between a volunteer police officer and a group of policemen at a bar on Koh Samui island early this morning, injuring two people.
The incident took place at Tawan Chai Cafe on Taweeratphakdee Road at around 2.30 am today, police say.
Staff at the bar told police that Sitthiporn Poonsawasdi, a volunteer police officer, was drinking heavily until the bar closed at 2 am. According to staff, Sitthiporn drunkenly tried to ask musicians at the bar to leave with him, and became angry when they refused.
Sitthiporn then reportedly walked to the front of the bar and fired one shot into the air, prompting the staff to alert police.
Police officers soon arrived and ordered Sitthiporn to drop his weapon, witnesses said. However, Sitthiporn allegedly refused and fired at police. A gunfight then broke out between the officers and Sitthiporn.
Sitthiporn was eventually shot in his left leg and apprehended. A police officer, Lt. Somporn Cherdchim, was also shot in his stomach during the gunfight.
Medical workers say Sitthiporn and Somporn are now in stable condition.
According to Police Senior Sergeant Chamnan Poonsakda, Sitthiporn was visibly drunk when officers arrived at the scene. He was reportedly waving his handgun in the air and threatening the bar staff.
"I have known Sitthiporn for a long time because he is a volunteer police officer," Pol.Sen.Sgt. Chamnan said. "So I tried to talk Sitthiporn into dropping his gun, but he was so drunk that we didn't understand what he was saying. He then shot at us."
Police say they have not yet charged Sitthiporn with any crime.
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