Rogue Bangkok cop shot and disarmed, ending tense 24-hour stand-off

Thai police officers block off the area outside the house of a gunman in Bangkok's Sai Mai district on Wednesday. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

BANGKOK - A tense stand-off in Bangkok’s Sai Mai district ended just after noon on Wednesday, after Thai police commandos shot and wounded a mentally disturbed policeman who had been firing shots from his house.

Police Lieutenant-Colonel Kittikan Saengboon was taken to hospital for treatment of his wounds, the Metropolitan Police Bureau said.

The 24-hour drama began around noon on Tuesday when Kittikan started firing shots into the air from his house in Soi Jiramakorn in northern Bangkok.

The 51-year-old, who was a Special Branch inspector with a reported history of mental illness, continued to discharge his weapon overnight. 

Residents in the neighbourhood were evacuated.

The police fired 20 tear gas canisters at the house in the early hours of Wednesday but failed to smoke Kittikan out. The authorities also cut off power to his house.

They did not use force as Kittikan had not taken any hostages or targeted any individuals.

Almost 20 hours of negotiations with the gunman came to an abrupt halt early on Wednesday morning when a special-operations unit lobbed stun grenades into the house.

At 6.20am, the unit managed to gain access to the second floor of the house but was unable to reach Kittikan, who had locked himself in a room on the first floor.

About two hours later, the police, armed with rubber-bullet guns, gathered in a nearby street to infiltrate the house from the side.

Meanwhile, negotiators continued to ask Kittikan to put down his weapon and surrender. The police also played Thai folk songs on loudspeakers in an attempt to calm him down.

A shot fired from the house reportedly hit a special-operations policeman in the street but deflected off his helmet and left him unhurt. 

At 11.25am, TV reporters at the scene said the police had gained access to the first floor.

Kittikan was shot and disarmed by police commandos at 12.10pm, according to the Metropolitan Police Bureau. His condition is unknown.

Neighbours said they often heard Kittikan in heated arguments over the phone. They also alleged that he sometimes fired shots into the air, causing panic in the neighbourhood.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.