‘DRUNK’ GROOM SHOOTS WIFE, MOTHER-IN-LAW, THREE OTHERS AT WEDDING CEREMONY
A wedding massacre in Thailand has left five dead after a ‘drunk’ Paralympic athlete groom shot his newlywed bride, mother-in-law and guests and then killed himself.
The shooting rampage took place at around 11.25pm on Saturday at a house in the Wang Nam Khieo district in north-east Thailand, where a wedding party was being held for Chaturong Suksuk, 29 and Kanchana Pachunthuek, 44.
During the celebrations, guests and relatives noticed that Chaturong, a former soldier and Paralympic athlete, looked angry after a row with his bride ‘about insecurities over his disability’.
He then stormed out of the venue to his car and returned with a 9mm pistol before opening fire, killing the bride, her 62-year-old mother, Kingthong Klajorho, and her 38-year-old sister, Kornika Manator.
Stray bullets hit two other guests killing one of them, Thong Nonkhunthod, 50, and seriously injuring Bamrung Chaterarat, 28.
Chaturong – a Paralympic athlete who won silver at swimming at the ASEAN Para Games in Indonesia last year – then put the gun in his mouth and shot himself.
Bodies were left strewn across the dance floor when emergency crews arrived.
Police said 11 bullets were recovered from the scene while video showed a number of body bags lined up on the grass and pools of blood at the venue.
While an exact motive has yet to be determined, witnesses told local media that the row was sparked by Chaturong’s insecurity over his disability.
The guests allegedly said Chaturong – who ‘was quite intoxicated at the time’ – grew angry because he feared his new wife might leave him for other men.
A neighbour, 70, said: ‘I heard the loud shots and thought they were just setting off firecrackers for the party.
‘It was only in the morning that I learned what happened. I’m devastated. I’ve known the couple for a long time and I was like a mother to them.’
Chaturong is said to have purchased the gun and ammunition legally last year.
Police said Chaturong was a former marine soldier working at the Sattahip naval base in Chon Buri. He had lost his right leg after he was run over by a train while on duty.
Chaturong was a member of the Thai team of paralympic athletes who took part in the 11th Asean Para Games in Indonesia in 2022 and won a silver medal in swimming.
The couple had lived together for three years before deciding to get married, according to Thai media.
The tragedy came just days after Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin signed an order to stop issuing gun licenses for a year in a bid to curb gun violence in the country.
The official had vowed to tighten gun control in Thailand, which has one of the highest gun ownership and gun homicide rates in Asia, following a shocking mall shooting in which a teenage gunman opened fire at shoppers at a Bangkok mall in October.