The mother of a robbery suspect killed in a police shootout yesterday has accused police of murdering her son.
Thakdanai Niawrangchai, 27, who was suspected of being involved in the robbery of an armoured cash delivery van last month, was shot dead by police yesterday morning.
Thakdanai’s mother, 49-year-old Suphattra Niawrangchai, made the accusation when she went to the Institute of Forensic Medicine to collect her son’s body.
She accused the police of killing her son in cold blood and suggested they had lied about him having a weapon, saying he was “a decent person”.
Police said they were forced to shoot Thakdanai as they tried to arrest him because he fired first — for a total of four shots — when cornered.
They said he died while attempting to flee a team led by national police chief Chaktip Chaijinda.
His mother said the officers were too quick to use their firearms, adding she believes they also planted a gun on her son’s body to justify their action and her son had not shot at them.
Thakdanai and at least one accomplice are believed to have robbed the van on Feb 23 in Bangkok’s Nong Khaem district. Some 7.2 million baht was stolen.
He has also been linked to a similar robbery several years ago, police said.
The operation started at 4.30am when officers waited for Thakdanai outside a snooker hall in Soi Thawi Watthana 1 in Nong Khaem district of Bangkok. Police said they were acting on a tip-off that he would be there.
When the suspect emerged, police identified themselves and tried to arrest him, they said. He managed to evade their clutches by jumping on a motorbike and making for a grassy area nearby, they added, after which he ditched the bike and ran.
About 300,000 baht in cash was found in a bag in the bike’s under-seat storage hold, police said. A revolver found on the suspect’s body was taken for examination, they said.
The first suspect in the robbery, 20-year-old Jirayut Suanmi, was arrested on Phetkasem Road on Feb 27. He was found with a vast amount of cash at his house in Bang Bon district. Police believe it was part of the stolen money.
After yesterday’s operation, they searched another house in Bang Bon that Thakdanai was believed to have been renting, but no money was found.
That means 3 million baht is still missing, a source said, implying over 4 million baht of the stolen cash has been recovered.