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Bangkok police are racing with time as gunman sent “Line” message to relatives saying he would part them forever

Bangkok police are racing with time in their efforts to locate the whereabout of Dr Wanchai Danaitamonut, 60, the suspected gunman who shot dead two of his colleagues yesterday, after he sent messages to close friends and relatives on “Line” saying he would part them forever.

police LINEActing metropolitan police commissioner Pol Lt Gen Sanit Mahathavorn said police investigators have discovered that Dr Wanchai had sent “Line” messages to relatives informing them he would part them forever.

This indicated that he might kill himself, he said.

But it has yet to determine if it was his message or not, he said.

The messages were sent prior to the shooting yesterday, he said, prompting him to order the police to find him as soon as possible before he would take his life to escape his guilt.

The police commissioner also said personal conflict between Dr Wanchai and Dr Pichai Chaisongkram, 50 was very likely in the shooting, while Dr Natthapol Chumworathayee, also 50, just came in between to mediate.

Initial investigation revealed both were engaged in a row over the exposure of the questionable PhD qualification of Dr Wanchai by Dr Pichai who raised his qualification to the attention of the university.

According to the commissioner, Phranakhon Rajabhat University is going to open a new learning course for master degree students and was designating Dr Wanchai to be head of the learning course.

However Dr Pichai argued his qualification, forcing the university to remove Dr Wanchai from the job.

This triggered frequent argument between the two doctors, he said.

He said for Dr Natthapol, he might be shot accidentally.

Concern and fear among close friends and relatives that he might take his life prompted the police investigators to launch massive hunt for him before he would do it, he added.

Yesterday the Criminal Court approved an arrest warrant for Dr Wanchai, a PhD lecturer who allegedly gunned down two other doctorate-degree lecturers in an examination room in front of two graduate students at a Rajabhat University in Bangkok.

The shooting occurred about 10 am in an examination room on the fifth floor of the Bhuddawitchalaya, a learning and cultural centre at Phranakhon Rajabhat University.

According to police, Dr Pichai and Dr Natthapol were shot dead. Both were lecturers at the university.

Dr Wanchai Danaitamonut, the suspected gunman who is also a PhD lecturer at the university’s faculty of education, fled the scene after the shooting.

The two murdered lecturers were in the examination room along with a graduate student and the student’s friend, when the gunman suddenly burst in and shot the two lecturers.

Police found nine 9 mm bullet casings at the scene.

Thai PBS

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