A former army sergeant major is believed to have shot dead his parents, wife and child before killing himself at their home in Bangkok’s Thung Khru district yesterday morning.
The fatal shootings occurred at the Alicha Place 2 housing estate at Soi Suksawat 70 on Khru Nai Road, Pol Capt Natthakit Makjing, deputy investigation chief at the district police station, said.
It later emerged the family business had a cash-flow problem, and he was having trouble paying his workers’ wages.
The tragedy was reported by a neighbour, who heard gunshots and screaming inside the house at about 6 am.
Police, medics and rescue workers called to the scene found the gate to the two-storey house locked from the inside.
After cutting it open and entering the premises, they found two bodies on the first floor of the house, which served as an office for Well Industrial Supply Co, which sells chemicals and car care products.
An elderly woman was found shot dead by the door to a room used for worshipping a Buddha. Her husband, Prawit Khlaiphayak, was dead inside the room.
They were the parents of Sgt Maj Anuwat Khlaiphayak, who was found shot dead with his wife Wiphang Chumpaijit and their nine-year-old son Pakhin Khlaiphayak in their bedroom on the second floor.
A neighbour told police the five family members had lived together in the house for more than five years.
At about 6 am, he said he heard screaming and several gunshots.
At about 7 am, he went to the house to check if everyone was all right, as nobody emerged to send the boy off to school.
He looked through the gate and saw the grandmother lying on the floor inside. He immediately called the police.
It was believed Anuwat shot his family dead before turning the gun on himself, Pol Capt Makjing said.
Investigators were looking into a possible business, family or personal conflict as possible motives, he said, adding relatives and other parties will be questioned.
Pol Col Kissana Phathanacharoen, deputy spokesman for the district police, later confirmed the five dead people were all family members.
A .38 revolver was found in Anuwat’s right hand, Pol Col Phathanacharoen said. The bodies were sent to Siriraj Hospital for a post-mortem examination.