Pattaya police announced the arrest of the four boys, ages 14-16, March 28, two days after Thonawat Ngao-ngam, 16, was shot eight times in the neck and abdomen. Also injured in the 5:20 a.m. shooting opposite the Mae La-oo Market near Boonkanchanaram Temple was 20-year-old Suchat Jaemsawang, who was shot in the hand and leg. He was treated and released from Banglamung Hospital.
The shooter and driver, their faces covered due to their age, reenact the crime for police.
Suchat initially feigned innocence in the incident, saying he’d simply picked up Thonawat and was driving home when rival gang members chased them and began shooting.
Police said the four suspects gave a different story, saying all the boys were playing pool at a central Pattaya pub when Thonawat pulled out an expensive handgun to show the others. The four, coveting the weapon, lured the teen and Suchat to a spot near Jomtien Soi 5 and cut them off, opening fire.
The 16-year-old gang leader, police said, claimed he’d wanted Suchat dead, but that the 15-year-old he’d ordered to do the shooting fired at the wrong person. Finally, just as the gun’s clip was nearly empty, the older boy grabbed the gun and fired off two shots at the intended target, police alleged.
The four suspects told police they went home and watched the news of the shooting on television, believing they’d gotten away with the crime. Little did they know, however, that all their faces were caught on a closed-circuit television footage from a nearby 7-Eleven.