On a fateful day in January 2020, the lives of several innocent individuals were forever changed when a masked man entered the Aurora Gold Shop, located within Lopburi’s bustling Robinson shopping mall. The man behind the mask was none other than Prasittichai Khaokaew, the then-principal of a primary school in Singburi. Rather than leveraging his position as an educational leader, Prasittichai chose to embark on a sinister path of death and destruction that culminated in a horrific crime.
The chilling events unfolded as Prasittichai, brandishing a pistol, fatally shot the security guard who stood watch at the entrance of the gold shop. His bloodlust unsated, he leaped onto the glass showcase and unleashed a hail of bullets at the terrified staff. In the process, he killed another employee and gravely injured another. As he made his escape from the scene, clutching the stolen jewelry, he coldly executed a young toddler who happened to be leaving a nearby store with his mother.
Unsurprisingly, this heinous act left many questioning why Prasittichai would choose such a brutal approach, when simply brandishing his weapon might have been sufficient to achieve his objective. This senseless violence would eventually lead to his arrest, conviction, and multiple charges, including first-degree murder, attempted murder, robbery, and carrying a firearm in a public place.
In August 2021, the Criminal Court found Prasittichai guilty of violating numerous articles of the Criminal Code and issued the gravest of sentences: the death penalty. Despite not appealing the verdict, he requested the court consider commuting his sentence. However, the Supreme Court and the Appeals Court both reaffirmed the original judgment, citing his wanton cruelty, absence of remorse, and a blatant disregard for human life.
Prasittichai’s despicable actions were underscored by his responsibility as a school principal, a position that demands upholding moral values and setting a positive example for young minds. With the appalling nature of his crimes and his failure as a role model, the courts maintained that there was no justification for leniency in this case.
Beyond the death sentence, Prasittichai is also obligated to compensate his 10 co-defendants, with amounts ranging from 99,000 baht to an exorbitant 2.25 million baht. His fate stands as a sobering reminder that Thailand remains committed to enforcing its capital punishment laws, which cover 35 crimes. Since 1935, the nation has executed 326 individuals, both by firing squad and lethal injection, demonstrating a staunch commitment to holding the most egregious of criminals accountable for their actions.
As the final chapter of Prasittichai’s dark story draws to a close, one can only hope that the families of his victims find some semblance of solace and justice in knowing that the man who irreversibly altered their lives will pay the ultimate price for his unforgivable sins.