Police Officer Accused of Overreacting in Fatal Shooting Incident

Police Shooting

NAKHON PHANOM: A police officer has been accused of overreacting and murder in connection with an incident in Phon Sawan district on Saturday when he shot to death a man who attacked and hurt him with a sharp-pointed knife when he tried to calm him down.

The accusation was made in a complaint filed with Phon Sawan police by Kittisak Champa, the kamnan of tambon Ban Kho; and Thongkham Khensom, 56, an elder sister of Lampoey Champa, 48, the man who was shot dead, against Pol Lt Wichit Bangpla, 59, an officer from Phon Sawan police station.

According to initial accounts of witnesses, the incident occurred on Saturday at about 1 pm in front of a house in Moo 1 village in tambon Ban Kho when Lampoey came to see Mrs Thongkham and asked for 100 baht. When she refused, Lampoey, who appeared to be high on drugs and very drunk, became angry and attacked people around him, prompting residents to call the police.

Pol Lt Wichit, who arrived at the scene ahead of his team, tried to calm Lampoey down but the man attacked him with a sharp-pointed knife, wounding him in the head and arms. The officer fired a few shots at him with a 9mm pistol but failed to stop the man. He then fired another shot that killed Lampoey on the spot.

In the complaint, accompanied by a video clip, Mr Kittisak accused Pol Lt Wichit of going beyond an act of self-defence. He wanted the officer to be charged with intentional murder and slapped with disciplinary action.

Pol Lt Wichit was still being treated in Nakhon Phanom Hospital.

Pol Col Kavisak Sukbang, the Phon Sawan police chief, said the complaint was accepted and an investigation would be conducted to establish facts surrounding the incident. The video clip of the shooting and other evidence would be taken for consideration.

He said the investigation would be transparent and straightforward to ensure justice for both parties.

The body of Lampoey would be sent to the Forensic Medicine Institute in Khon Kaen for an examination.