A gunman shot and killed a woman running for mayor and wounded four others at a funeral in Ratchaburi, a province west of Bangkok near the Myanmar border.
Police say they suspect the shooting was politically motivated. Out of the four people injured, three were running in the March 28 municipal election while another was the kamnan, a government official of a tambon, which is a sub district.
The gunman opened fire just as the kamnan of tambon Don Sai, Yingpan Kanket, was lighting candles and incense sticks under a Buddha image to start the ceremony, witnesses say. Shots were fired from behind the main Buddha image at the temple’s open prayer hall, witnesses say.
Bullets hit five people, including Yingpan who is in critical condition. Varaporn Niamraksa, who was running for mayor of the municipality, was shot and died at the hospital. Nakhon Wanpen, Somthawil Srirat and Monthien Jaitham, who are all running for the municipal council of tambon Don Sai, were shot.
Police found two spent .22 cartridges and a 11mm spent shell at the scene. The suspect faces charges of murder, attempted murder, carrying firearms and ammunition without permission and carrying them in public without a proper reason.
A suspect in the shooting surrendered to police on Tuesday. He is the husband of the slain woman’s main competitor in this month’s municipal polls. He is also the dead woman’s brother-in-law. He is named as Wanchart Niamraksa, a council member of the Ratchaburi provincial administration organisation, who turned himself in at Photharam district police station about noon.