'No snipers' in Ramkhamhaeng clashes

'No snipers' in Ramkhamhaeng clashes

THAILAND - There were no snipers involved in the five deaths that occurred during the Ramkhamhaeng University riots, assistant to the national police chief, Pol General Jaramporn Suramanee, said Saturday.

Autopsy reports and trajectory results found the victims were shot by pistol, from ground level, said Jaramporn, who headed the scene investigations.

There were 19 incidents of violence in that area from the night of November 30 to December 1.

Jaramporn also said police had retrieved 34 spent ammunition casings and 12 bullets, which were reportedly fired from seven models of firearms (including 9mm, .22, .25, .38, and .32) and seized some pistols from both sides for further inspection of links to the violence.

According to the police report, there were confrontations between university students and the red shirts earlier on November 30, which also led to shooting at 8.45pm that killed Ramkhamhaeng University student Thaweesak Phokaew, 21, with a gunshot to the chest on Ramkhamhaeng Soi 24. At 10pm police tried to enter the area but they were obstructed by the protesters. A 191 police car was smashed, police said.

At 2am on December 1, red-shirt supporter Private Thanasit Viangkham, 23, was fatally shot in the head while he walked on Ramkhamhaeng Soi 24, while another red-shirt supporter, Viroj Khemnak, died after being shot in the chest while standing outside Rajamangala Stadium at 4am. Hours later, another red-shirt supporter, Wisanu Paopu, was killed after being shot in the chest at the gate 1 area while police urged red-shirts to leave the stadium via gates 3 and 4. The police arranged 30 police cars and 10 buses to evacuate the university students, according to the report.

In addition, a red-shirt double-decker bus, parked in front of the university, was torched at 3.30pm on December 1, resulting in the death of Suradet Khampaengjai, police said. DNA testing and available evidence suggested that the skeleton found in the torched bus was that of 19-year-old Suradet, who was neither a red-shirt supporter nor a Ramkhamhaeng University student, police said. Suradet reportedly left his Ekamai home with friends and joined as a red-shirt guard before entering the double-decker, which was set on fire, trapping Suradet inside.

His mother Nareumon Khampayak later identified Suradet's body by DNA test and his personal belongings like ring, phone and belt buckle.

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