Driver gunned down in Hat Yai

Less than a week ago, a gunfight broke out between 2 motorcycle taxi gangs in Samut Prakan over wanting more passengers. And because of this exact same reason, another shooting took place in Songkhla province on Sunday.

A tuk-tuk driver decided to end a long-standing dispute with his rival-colleague by shooting him near Hat Yai Railway Station.

Police investigating the area
Image credit: Hat Yai Focus

According to the police, a tuk-tuk driver named Chaowalit Phuthaksin, 40, shot another driver, Sao Puangthong, 9 times with a revolver.

They’ve been fighting over passengers

Both men’s co-workers and relatives said that the two have always been fighting to win each other’s passengers, who mostly are the train commuters. The last straw was drawn at 3pm that day when another batch of passengers arrived with a train. Both of them, as usual, started to quarrel. 

However, this time it ended with Chaowalit pulling out his revolver and emptying its 6 bullets onto Sao’s body, making him collapse as result. Then he allegedly reloaded another round of bullets and shot 3 more times at his victim.

Sao in critical condition

Image credit: Bangkok Post

All of this happened in front of a policeman who was on duty near the tuk-tuk stop. He was quick to detain Chaowalit, who surrendered without resistance, and called for backup for the bloodied man on the street.

Sao, who is currently in critical condition, was rushed to a local hospital nearby. As for Chaowalit, he would be prosecuted with at least 2 charges: one for illegal possession of a firearm, another for attempt to murder.

Violence on Thai streets


Although this shooting arised from a conflict between individuals and is different from the “turf wars” fight that took place in Samut Prakan, both incidents shared 1 key element; violence. 

This trait has become many people’s solution to problems and it has been this way since I could remember as a local. Unfortunately, this bad habit seems to continue – if not thrive – until today – judging from these two incidents, and even milder incidents like the bus race incident in Bangkok. 

Let’s hope that we will stop mistaking violence as a solution and see it for what it really is – a problem.

Featured images adapted from: BusOnlineTicket Thailand and Bangkok Post

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