By KITTINGPONG MANEERIT
Police were told the woman had for years received treatment for a mental health issue and had once threatened a relative with a knife, a police source said yesterday.
The woman, whose name has been withheld, reportedly admitted to police that she shot salesman Anuwat Noowan, 28, and says she did it to escape an abusive relationship which she could no longer tolerate. She claims Anuwat often beat her up to force her to have sex with him.
Police Division 5 head Pol Maj-General Mongkol Warunno, who was assigned by the city’s police chief to lead the investigation, said inquiries had found that the couple had been in a secret relationship for more than a month after meeting each other online. He said police would continue to seek evidence to establish whether the motive for the killing was to escape abuse or due to some other reason. Police would also test Anuwat’s body for drugs.
Mongkol said the woman had tested positive for gunpowder residue and been charged with murder. She would be taken in front of a criminal court judge today for police to apply for her first 12-day detention period, he added.
Police were alerted at 9pm on Tuesday to the shooting incident on Soi Bang Na-Trat 4. When police and rescuers from the Ruamkatanyu Foundation arrived at the scene, they found Anuwat's body in the driver’s seat, slumped across the passenger seat.
Kittipong Saengchai, 44, the witness who called police, said he was driving home in the soi when Anuwat's car skidded and collided with his own vehicle.
He said he then saw a young woman open the driver’s door and run over to him shouting “the man in the car has a gun”. Kittipong let her sit in his car while he checked the other car and discovered Anuwat’s body, whereupon he called the police.
When police arrived, the woman reportedly confessed to shooting Anuwat with his own gun – which police later found to have been illegally obtained.
She claimed that Anuwat, who had previously been abusive to her, forced her to visit him at a hotel on Tuesday night, when he attacked her again by punching her in the eye.
A police source said the woman had claimed they later argued in the car while on their way to collect her motorcycle at a friend’s house.
She claimed Anuwat threatened her with his gun before placing it in the back seat, so she acted in self-defence by grabbing the weapon and shooting him in the back of the head, the source said.