Crime & Justice

Armed robber who killed 3, including toddler, sentenced to death in Thailand

Bangkok, Aug 27 (efe-epa).- A man who shot dead three people, including a two-year-old child, during an armed robbery of a jewelry store was handed a death sentence by a Bangkok court on Thursday, judicial sources told Efe.

The condemned, a 39-year-old former school director named Prasitchai Khaokaew, confessed to being the perpetrator of the robbery of the jewelers in Lopburi, a province in central Thailand north of the capital city Bangkok, on Jan. 9.

The incident was captured by security cameras at the mall that houses the jewelery shop, with the images, which quickly went viral and caused nationwide outrage, showing the toddler falling to the ground after being shot and the perpetrator shooting two other people.

Police said the man, who was wielding a gun with a silencer, first shot at a security guard before proceeding with his rampage.

The court said that despite the defendant’s confession, the sentence was not reduced because the assailant had used a silencer, which demonstrated that the crime was premeditated.

A separate video shows how a child walking by falls to the ground after sustaining a wound to the head before his mother takes him away to find cover. Authorities said the boy died at the hospital.

Prasitchai, who police say committed the robbery due to “financial problems”, entered the shop wearing a balaclava armed with a pistol that was owned by his father, a former police officer.

He escaped with several gold necklaces, estimated to be worth more than 600,000 Thai baht (over $21,000).

Five days after the robbery, the assailant was apprehended and charged with premeditated murder and eight other charges relating to theft.

Capital punishments are relatively rare in Thailand, which last carried out a death sentence in 2018.

Prasittichai taught at Wat Phochai, a primary school located in Singburi, a neighboring province of Lopburi.

Thailand is home to one of the largest number of guns in the world, with more than 10 million firearms, an average of about 15 per 100 people, although only 6 million are legally registered, according to Australian monitoring organization EFE-EPA


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