THAILAND - A well-loved female student from the Rajamangala University of Technology Uthenthawai Campus was fatally shot in the heart of Bangkok late on Tuesday night in what could be the latest crime related to school rivalry. Another student from the same campus was also shot, but managed to get away with injuries to his right arm.
The campus has suspended classes for three days in the wake of the shooting.
Police believe either school rivalry or personal conflict may have been behind the shooting. According to witnesses, some 40 people were waiting for a bus near Pathuwam intersection in heavy rain when they heard gunshots.
CCTV recordings show two people on a motorcycle, both wearing raincoats and crash helmets, stopping by at the bus stop at the time of the shooting.
"We will check images from other security cameras in the area," Pathumwan Police Station's deputy superintendent Lt-Colonel Panom Chua-thong said yesterday.
The victims were identified as Kankanit Promkaew and Wachirawit Senkhram, both of whom were second-year engineering students at the campus.
Kankanit, 20, succumbed to heavy blood loss on her way to hospital, though Wachirawit is in a safe condition. Their friends said the two had left school late due to the rain, and were waiting for a bus home when the shooting took place.
Kankanit's classmates and teachers fondly remember her as a friendly and nice person who often took part in extra-curricular activities. Her teachers even wrote a poem to express their grief and posted it at the campus. One line reads: "Your passing has broken teachers' hearts … May you rest in peace".
The young student's funeral is currently under way at Pailom Temple in Chai Nat's Sapphaya district.
Meanwhile, police will have the parents of street racers, who had been arrested over the past three years, sign a memorandum of understanding in a bid to stop them from racing on public roads. Police are also calling on motorcycle shops to not sell accessories to young people.
Deputy Metropolitan Police chief Pol Maj-General Adul Narongsak said police were getting ready a list of names and preparing an MoU for the parents to sign, promising they will not let their children race on the streets again.
After the MoUs are signed, parents will face charges if their children are caught racing.
Adul urged everybody to get involved in solving the city's problems, as there weren't enough traffic police officers to cover every area of Bangkok.