British tourist shoots himself at gun range in Phuket

British tourist shoots himself at gun range in Phuket

PHUKET - A British man in his early 20s shot himself in the head in an apparent suicide at a shooting range in Phuket on Saturday.

The 21-year-old tourist hailed a taxi in the afternoon following a dispute with a male friend.

He instructed the cab driver to take him somewhere where he could shoot, and he was heard arguing with somebody on his mobile phone during the ride.

Staff and witnesses at the Thalang Shooting Range said the man arrived at the tourist attraction before 3pm, the Phuket Gazette reported yesterday.

The man hired an 11mm pistol and emptied his magazine at the target, before asking for three more bullets. He then turned the gun on himself and fired at point blank range, staff and witnesses told police.

The online news outlet Phuketwan quoted a staff member from the firing range as saying: "He came by a taxi. He bought a ticket for shooting an 11mm handgun and then shot himself in the head."

A brief video clip, purportedly showing the moment the man turned the gun on himself, has been shared online. The clip shows the man's shooting instructor running after the incident.

The footage of the incident, recorded on CCTV cameras at the shooting range, shows the instructor trying to stop the man turning the gun on himself before the instructor turns away holding his head in horror.

The taxi driver who picked up the British tourist from a hotel in the Bang Tao area, on the west coast of the resort island, said he heard the man arguing with someone on the phone while driving to the shooting range.

"We have taken statements from some witnesses. But we will question more people at the scene and we have yet to review any CCTV footage the facility may have," Pol Lieutenant Kraisorn Boonprasop of the Thalang District Police Station was quoted by the Gazette as saying.

The man's identity has been withheld until his family has been notified.

The United Kingdom's Foreign Office was "urgently working with the authorities in Thailand to establish whether a British national has died in Phuket," The Guardian newspaper quoted a spokesman for the office as saying.

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