A man allegedly took revenge on his high school bully after a 53-year grudge this weekend, shooting him dead at a school reunion party.
Thanapat Anakesri, 69, attended the event on Saturday afternoon (August 24) with his former classmates from a school in Ang Thong, central Thailand.
Among those classmates was 69-year-old Suthat Kosayamat, who Anakesri reportedly confronted over claims the former had bullied him when they were both 16.
Prior to the incident, the group of former students had reminisced about their school life more than 50 years ago, while helping themselves to a buffet of Thai food followed by ice cream.
However, the jovial mood was soon interrupted when former navy officer Anakesri began to argue with Kosayamat, a tailor, who said he could not remember what had happened between them.
Anakesri reportedly ordered Kosayamat to apologise, but he refused and told him to forget about it. Anakesri then allegedly pulled a handgun out and shot his former classmate before fleeing the scene.
Kosayamat was rushed to hospital where he was pronounced dead. He was given a traditional Buddhist funeral yesterday, with devastated friends and family paying tribute to the ‘kind and caring’ man.
Tuean Klakang, 69, the class of 1966 president who organised the event, told police Anakesri would often complain about Kosayamat. However, he said he did not believe it was something to be taken seriously.
Thanapat [Anakesri] would get drunk then often talk about how angry he was about being bullied by Suthat [Kosayamat]. He never forgot about it.
But as these things happened such a long time ago, I would never have imagined that he would have killed his friend like this. We are all shocked by it.
Police Captain Sombat Somboondee said officers found a 9mm cartridge and another dummy round at the scene, and are now searching for Anakesri who has fled his home and is believed to be living in a neighbouring province.
The Ang Thong Provincial Court has issued an arrest warrant for Thanapat on charges of murder, with the police chief saying they will ‘initially’ charge him for murder and carrying a gun without a licence.
We also have a lead that he is hiding in Singburi province so officers are searching the area. From speaking to witnesses, the shooting appears to have happened after a personal dispute between the killer and the victim from a long time ago.
Our thoughts are with Suthat’s loved ones at this difficult time.
Rest in peace, Suthat.
If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677.
A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).