PHUKET, Thailand – A well-known Phuket journalist and red political activist has been critically wounded in a Phuket shooting that bears the hallmarks of an assassination.
Wisut ”Ae” Tangwittayaporn was shot at four times in Thepkasattri Road, Phuket City, about 9.10am as he turned his black Honda Jazz into the main road from his home in a lane.
The shooters have been described as two men on a motorcycle, wearing sunglasses, who appeared to be paid assassins.
Khun Ae’s wife Jiraporn ”Ji” Hosakul was in the front passenger’s seat of the Jazz as her husband turned left into Phuket’s main thoroughfare near SuperCheap supermarket.
He was heading north towards the bypass road junction, moving right and intending to do a u-turn to swing back towards central Phuket City.
The motorcycle cut off the Jazz and the pillion passenger fired as he stepped off the motorcycle and in front of the car, Khun Ji has told police.
She was unharmed. She says she also remembers the numberplate of the Honda Click as it sped away.
As police swarmed over the area where the shooting took place today, an all-points alert went out across Phuket for the motorcycle and its riders.
Members of Phuket’s journalistic fraternity gathered at Vachira Hospital in Phuket City as Khun Ae, shot at least once, fought for life.
Phuket Governor Tri Augkaradacha also raced to the hospital’s emergency room on hearing of the shooting.
At 10am, doctors were still treating Khun Ae for at least one and possibly more bullet wounds. His condition was described as ”critical.”
As a journalist – despite being a red activist in predominantly yellow-tinged Phuket – he was highly regarded.
Khun Ae was to have led a deputation of Pheu Thai party officials from Bangkok to Phuket’s Freedom Beach tomorrow amid allegations of corruption over the title to land fronting the beach.
Khun Ae was pronounced dead by doctors about 10.40am