Man holds Bangkok bus conductor, passenger hostage at gunpoint
A 24-year-old jobless gunman took a Bangkok bus conductor and passenger hostage on Sunday night but peacefully surrendered early on Monday after a hours-long standoff with Lat Phrao police, thanks to his mother who talked him into finally giving up.
Police were alerted at 9.30pm on Sunday that the gunman was holding a conductor and passenger of public bus No 8 hostage on Happy Land 1 Road in Bangkok’s Bang Kapi district.
Officers rushed to the scene and found the bus parked on the rightmost lane of the road, with three persons in the vehicle.
Nuanphan Muangjeeb, 30, the bus conductor, said the gunman boarded the bus at Victory Monument on Sunday evening but refused to get off when the bus service terminated at Happy Land.
“Instead, he pulled out a gun and ordered the driver to drive the bus back to Victory Monument to drop him off,” she said.
According to Nuanphan, driver Sayan Reugphichit, 39, told the gunman that he had to get his timesheet signed by an official at the bus stop and then quickly scooted away before the gunman could do anything, leaving only the conductor and the passenger on the bus.
“The gunman then told me to shut the bus doors,” she added.
Police subsequently arrived at the scene and surrounded the bus until 11pm, when the gunman finally got off the vehicle and promptly squatted on the footpath, still armed with his weapon. He refused to surrender.
Officers managed to locate his mother and at 1.55am on Monday took her to the scene to convince her son to turn himself in. He eventually complied.
No one was injured in the incident.
At 2.30am police revealed the gunman’s name is Pheeranat Saengchan and he is 24 years old. He was a temporary worker at a company but is now out of a job and mired in financial problems.
“A preliminary investigation revealed that he robbed a convenience store in Bang Sue on July 7, using the same 11mm handgun, and escaped with THB8,000,” the police said.
“We are investigating whether or not the suspect had ever participated in the anti-government rallies at Victory Monument,” police added.