Surat Thani law enforcement has been intensely searching for Pol Snr Sgt Maj Atthaporn Wichian, 46, from the Khirirat Nikhom police station, after a brutal attack on his father-in-law’s house. More than 100 police investigators and Surat Thani special task force officers gathered at the Ratchaprapa dam, or Cheow Lan dam, after receiving information suggesting the suspect was in the area. In addition to the original warrant, two more warrants have been approved for the arrest of the defendant on charges of murder.
The incident occurred on April 8 when Atthaporn, accompanied by heavily armed men, stormed the residence of his father-in-law in the Khirirat Nikhom district. Four people were killed in the attack, including the homeowner Thammarong Nilniyom, his wife Nilthip Palakachen, Pornsak Phetchu, and the defendant’s older brother, Thammarat Wichian. The latter, also a gunman, is thought to have been shot by one of the victims.
Two additional victims were discovered later: Atthaporn’s son Atthapol Wichian, and his new wife Panida Nilniyom, both of whom had gunshot wounds. Atthapol was found dead inside a vehicle parked at a temple where funeral rites for Thammarat Wichian were taking place. His hands were bound, and he had been shot in the right temple. Panida’s body was discovered the following day at a resort in the Tha Khanon area of the Khirirat Nikhom district, with a gunshot wound in her mouth.
Manop Wang-ngan, 57, a member of the attacking group, was subsequently arrested in the Thap Put district of Phangnga province. He confessed to participating in the violence and was taken into custody. On Saturday, law enforcement officers conducted a thorough search of lodgings at the Ratchaprapa dam and neighboring areas, looking for the prime suspect, Atthaporn. Surat Thani police chief Pol Maj Gen Saranyu Chamnarnrat and Surat Thani governor Witchawut Jinto met with local leaders to request cooperation in providing intelligence about the suspect.
On Saturday, the Surat Thani provincial court granted two further arrest warrants for Pol Snr Sgt Maj Atthaporn in connection with the killings of his son and his wife, Panida. A previous warrant sought his apprehension on charges of murder, illegal possession of weapons, and carrying firearms and ammunition in public areas without a valid reason.
A dispute between Pol Snr Sgt Maj Atthaporn and his father-in-law is believed to have sparked the violent incident.