15-year-old dies in Phuket Vegetarian Festival shoot-out

From the Phuket News:

PHUKET: A 15-year-old-boy was killed and three other teenagers injured during a shoot-out at the closing ceremony of the Vegetarian Festival at Saphan Hin in the early hours of this morning (Oct 22).

Phuket City Police were called to investigate a shooting close to the Phuket Vocational College in Talad Yai at 12:20am where it had been reported one youth had died and three others had been injured.

Pol Inspector Maj Porntip Chumsri and Lt Col Chaow Phomna arrived at the scene with a team of officers and Vachira Hospital medical staff to find Kusoldharm rescue workers treating the three injured youths.

The body of the15-year-old boy, named only Bao, had suffered gunshot wounds to his chest from a 9mm gun. His body was taken to Vachira Hospital while rescue workers and medical staff attended to three injured victims.

The three injured youths have been named only as Mao, 14, who suffered a single gunshot wound to his right arm; Toe, 14, shot once in the back, and Kai, 15, who was shot once in the stomach.

All three were later transferred to Vachira Hospital.

Police found one 9mm bullet near the body of Bao and 16 9mm bullet casings 50 metres away from the body. A Toyota Vios which was parked nearby had also been hit by stray bullets.

Police said that while more than 10,000 people had gathered at Sapan Hin to celebrate the end of the Vegetarian Festival a group of teenagers on two motorbikes started to chase another group of teens also on motorbikes close to the Lucky Complex.

Two gunmen who were passengers on the motorbikes opened fire at the victims and shot dead Bao and injured Mao, Toe and Kai before speeding off towards the vocational college.

Lt Col Chaow said, “All of the victims are students at a private secondary school in Phuket Town. The school is closed for a holiday so the group of friends came to join the Vegetarian Festival procession.

“According to witnesses, when the shooters rode their motorbikes past the victims, they [the victims] lit firecrackers and threw them at the suspects. This sparked an altercation and it ended with the four boys being shot.

“We will now gather more information and question any friends, family and witnesses who might be able to give us better descriptions of the suspects so we can bring them in for questioning,” he said.