Police besiege a gunman in Thailand who has killed at least 3 people

BANGKOK (AP) — Thai police said Wednesday they cordoned off a neighborhood in a city southwest of the capital and trapped a gunman inside his home after killing at least three people and wounding several more.

Thai television showed images of police taking up positions on a quiet street in Phetchaburi, about 170 kilometers (105 miles) southwest of Bangkok, some armed and others with protective shields.

Police confirmed that three people, including a motorcycle messenger, were killed in the crash, which began early Wednesday afternoon. At one point, a body spotted by a police drone in front of the house could not be recovered because it was in the line of fire.

At least two injured, one of whom was a local official who rushed to the scene when informed of the shooting, were taken to hospital.

Police evacuated the children from nearby schools and treatment centers and surrounded the gunman’s house while waiting for specially trained officers to try to resolve the crisis, as the gunman fired at them sporadically.

The Central Police Investigation Bureau on its Facebook page identified the suspect as 29-year-old Anuwat Waentong. Thai media reported that he was due to appear in court on Wednesday on drug charges.

The suspect’s mother was brought to the scene to appeal to her son via megaphone to surrender, calling him by his nickname, Beam.

“Do you want me to pick you up or your friend? Listen to me, Beam. Beam, do you hear me?” She begged him.” Pick up or call me. Do you hear me, son? There is still a chance. Do you want me to pick you up or do you want to get off yourself?

The shooting came just a week after a standoff in Bangkok in which a police lieutenant colonel fired a handgun into the air as he resisted police attempts to detain him, keeping his fellow officers detained for 27 hours. The officer, who allegedly suffered from mental stress, died in hospital after being shot by police who raided the house where he had been holed up.

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