Pong village chief, family injured in assault-rifle shooting

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Three people were injured when a gunman sprayed automatic-weapon fire at the home of a Pong Sub-district village chief.

Nikorn Kradkrai, 44, headman for Moo 3, his wife Paengsri Saensila, 45, and son Mukhpol  Kradkrai, 11, were hospitalized with treatable gunshot wounds following the April 25 shooting at the Kradkrai family antique shop and residence. Nikorn was grazed in the shoulder while his wife and son sustained shots to the legs.

Nikorn stated that he was eating while sitting on the porch of his house when a red Isuzu pickup truck approached and a man, seemingly drunk, got out and ordered his driver to get him two beers. After paying, the drunk pulled the Heckler & Koch HK33 and sprayed the house with 21 bullets. Nikorn and his family dived for cover. The gunman left the rifle at the scene.

Police found the assault weapon used in the shooting still at the scene.Police found the assault weapon used in the shooting still at the scene.

Nikorn told police he knew of only one dispute that could have prompted the shooting. He has been in conflict with a property-development firm in Koh Chang owned by a politician there. Nikorn, coming to the aid of a Moo 3 resident, accused the company of swindling a woman out of 10 million baht during the sale of a 24-rai parcel of land in Pong.

Police said, however, they don’t have enough evidence to arrest the politician and have not identified the gunman or the person who hired the gunman. Royal Thai Police officials said, however, they are taking the matter seriously as Nikorn, as a village chief, is regarded as a government employee.