11 July 2024

School director Prasitthichai “Golf” Khaokaew claimed today (Thursday) that he robbed the gold shop in Lop Buri province earlier this month because he had financial problems and that the shooting to death of a female employee and a two-year old were unintentional.

Prasitthichai was speaking to the media for the first time via telephone, at a press conference held this morning at the Royal Thai Police head office, attended by the national police chief, Pol Gen Chakthip Chaijinda, and other high-ranking police officers.

Three people were killed and four others were wounded in the daring gold shop robbery, which has attracted national interest and drawn widespread condemnation of the perpetrator for the unprovoked killing of innocent people, particularly the two-year old boy.

Prasitthichai said that he had to open fire because he wanted to cause panic and clear the way as he approached the gold shop, adding that he planned the robbery 2-3 days earlier.

He claimed that the fatal shooting of the female employee was accidental because the glove got stuck in the trigger mechanism when he tried to remove it and his pistol accidentally discharged two shots which hit the employee.

He claimed that he didn’t see the two-year old boy as he opened fire at a security guard. The wounded guard limped out of the mall and subsequently died in the road opposite the building.

Prasitthichai said that he regrets the deaths of the three victims and offered an apology, especially to the family of the boy, named “Title”.

Regarding the gun’s silencer, he claimed he bought from an acquaintance through the Internet.

After the robbery, he said he thought about surrendering to the police on January 24th, after he had completed some business at his school, but he was arrested by a special police unit, Hanuman, of the Crime Suppression Division on Wednesday.

CSD police recovered the stolen gold ornaments from his parents’ house on Wednesday night.

Earlier, Prasitthichai claimed that he dumped the stolen gold in the Chao Phraya River in Sing Buri.

Deputy national police chief Pol Gen Suwat Jaengyodsuk told the media today that police did not believe everything to which the suspect had confessed and are focussing on the suspect’s actions, including the unprovoked shootings, which were allegedly intended to kill.

He said police are still looking for the silencer and the extended gun barrel.

Related story: “I only meant to shoot to frighten”