BANGKOK (AP): Police in Thailand said Wednesday (March 22) they cordoned off a neighborhood in a city southwest of the capital and trapped a gunman inside his house after he shot dead at least three people and wounded several others.
Thai television showed images of police taking positions on a quiet street in Phetchaburi, about 170km (105 miles) southwest of Bangkok, some carrying weapons and others with protective shields.
Police confirmed that three people, including a motorcycle delivery driver, had been killed in the incident, which began early Wednesday afternoon. At one point, a body spotted by a police drone in front of the house could not be retrieved because it was in the line of fire.
At least two injured people, one a local official who rushed to the site when he was notified of the shooting, were taken to a hospital.
Police evacuated children from nearby schools and care centres and surrounded the gunman’s house while waiting for specially trained officers to try to resolve the crisis, as the gunman sporadically fired at them.
The police Central Investigation Bureau on its Facebook page identified the suspect as Anuwat Waentong, 29. Thai media reported that he had been due to make a court appearance Wednesday on a drug charge.
The suspect's mother was brought to the site to appeal to her son over a bullhorn to give himself up, calling him by his nickname, Beam.
"Do you want me to pick you up or your friend? Listen to me, Beam. Beam, can you hear me?" she pleaded with him. "Answer or call me. Can you hear me, son? There’s still a chance. Do you want me to go get you or do you want to come down yourself?”
The shooting came just a week after a standoff in Bangkok in which a police lieutenant colonel shot a gun into the air as he resisted police efforts to detain him, holding off his fellow officers for 27 hours. The officer, who was said to have suffered from mental stress, died in a hospital after being shot by police who stormed the house where he had been holed up.