CHANTHABURI — Police on Friday said a policeman was placed under investigation after security camera footage revealed moments he handed his sidearm to a clerk during a deadly shooting incident on Tuesday.
The video contradicted previous statements by the authorities who said the shooter was brought down by an on-duty police officer inside the Chanthaburi courtroom, which were then revised to say that clerk Thanakorn Theerawaradom, 22, grabbed the handgun from the officer, Capt. Kajorn Banjong.
But in a CCTV footage leaked to the media, Capt. Kajorn is seen standing outside the courtroom with Thanakorn when land dispute defendant Thanin Chantratip shot the plaintiff and his lawyers inside.
Kajorn, holding his handgun, then peeked into the courtroom, and looked back at Thanakorn. The two appeared to talk to each other before the officer apparently gave his sidearm to the legal clerk.
Thanakorn then moved to the door, assumed a firing position, shot the handgun, and entered the room.
Region 2 police commander Montri Yimyam said he ordered an inquiry into Capt. Kajorn. Despite the footage, Montri said more investigation is needed to ascertain whether Kajorn intentionally surrendered his firearm to Thanakorn.
“The officer declined his involvement. He said that he was responding to the shooting inside the court before his gun was taken away by Thanakorn,” Montri said. “We have not concluded whether Capt. Kajorn deliberately handed the gun to Thanakorn, but we expect the findings to be concluded soon.”
Khaosod English was instructed by its management not to show the footage due to fears of possible legal action from the court.
Kajorn previously told the media that he suddenly suffered from an unspecified health condition which prevented him from bringing down the shooter. Yet the video showed him leaning against the wall after the weapon was removed from him.
Kajorn’s supervisor, Col. Khomsorn Mabumrung of Chanthaburi provincial police, said the officer is not ready to give his testimony as he is currently “depressed.”
Autopsy examination found Thanin was shot six times. He died at a hospital.
Those killed by Thanin included plaintiff Bancha Porameesanaporn and his lawyer Wijai Sukharom. Bancha’s wife Supaporn Porameesanaporn and another lawyer Wichai Udomthanapat were injured, but they are now reportedly in stable condition.
Thanin’s ex-wife Khemjira Bantoonnipit, who divorced him four years ago, said Wednesday her ex-husband was waiting to surrender himself after the shooting, but he was shot by Thanakorn before the police arrived.
“I offer my condolences to all of the victims,” Khemjira said. “Think of it as the consequence of their karma because the dispute is over a monk’s land.”
Thanakorn was arrested Wednesday morning on murder charges for shooting Thanin dead. He is currently freed on bail.