Gunman ‘High on Meth’ Fires Shots at Temple, Radio Station

Somphop Paesikaew after his arrest on June 25, 2020.
Somphop Paesikaew after his arrest on June 25, 2020.

PATHUM THANI — Police on Thursday arrested a man who fired at least 20 shots at a public radio station and a temple after hours of standoff.

Somphop Paesikaew, 35, was detained this morning and tested positive for drug use, police spokesman Kissana Phattanacharoen said. He also disputed social media reports that described the incident as a mass shooting. The spokesman said the suspect only fired shots into the air and no one was injured.

“The gunman was under the influence of ya ba,” Col. Kissana said. “He used a .45 pistol and fired multiple rounds into the air.”

Police said the man opened fire on the public broadcasting station in Saraburi province at around 6.30pm on Wednesday before stealing a motorcycle. The gunman then drove away to Wat Bueng Ba in the neighboring Pathum Thani province and fired more shots into the air.

Upon being chased by local police and Kotchasan 63 police commando unit, the gunman holed up at his relative’s home in Pathum Thani’s Nong Suea district at around midnight.

He was later apprehended at around 2am on Thursday after his mother arrived at the scene and encouraged him to surrender.

Police said Somphop was hallucinating that someone was chasing and trying to kill him, causing him to return fire. Somphop had a history of being arrested for robbery and drugs-related offenses in the past, according to the police.

Somphop was charged with robbery, carrying a firearm in public, discharging a firearm in public, and damaging property.