A once quiet and seemingly peaceful neighbourhood in Dusit District was rudely awakened to an appalling tragedy on Monday morning; an event that sends icy shivers down one’s spine and paints a macabre tableau of violence and loss. And this isn’t a scene drawn from a hyper-realistic film noir, but a chilly recount of the grim reality that played out in front of the Kornkaew Montessori School, along the tranquil lanes of Soi Ranong 2 Road.
In the unforgiving light of the day, a brave 16-year-old lad, cloaked in the innocent attire of his school uniform became the target of an unprovoked attack. He was not just any ordinary high school student, he was on the path to mastery in his chosen educational stream, bearing the title of a second-year pupil at the prestigious Dusit Technical College; an institution renowned for its excellence, ironically located just a stone’s throw away from the location of his untimely end.
The aftermath of the heinous crime left a sombre sight. The young teen was the unfortunate casualty, having surrendered to the fatal bullet wounds inflicted on his chest. The embodiment of innocence, he was mercilessly shot in broad daylight with a weapon more fittingly found in a James Bond movie – a pen gun; the seemingly innocent writing instrument, found discarded casually as police arrived at the crime scene.
The one-thousand-and-one unresolved questions that precipitate such an act of barbarity were added to by the eyewitness accounts of the victim’s distraught friends. Their tales describe the horrifying sequence of events – four unidentified assailants rode atop two unmarked motorcycles. These motorised predators, stripped off of their registration identity, displayed an electrifying blur of drive-by brutality before disappearing into the urban labyrinth of Rama V Road.
Disturbingly, this is no isolated shocking incident in the leafy suburbs of Bangkok. Just one week ago, a dedicated teacher became a hapless victim of a peripheral crossfire as another vocational student was brazenly attacked in the neighbouring Klong Toey District.
These horrific incidents unmask a grim pattern, painting a sobering reflection of contemporary society; one that needs immediate attention and calls for a potent reprisal of crime. As the city mourns its fallen innocents, it pines for the day peace and safety will once again dominate its echoing alleyways.