Police launch hunt for armed rapist
KALASIN: Police have launched a largescale hunt for a man suspected of shooting a student in the face and abducting and raping his female companion.
The exhausted 21-year-old woman, a university student, stumbled into Phu Phan police station in neighbouring Sakon Nakhon province about 5am on Tuesday. She told police her attacker allowed her to go free after he raped her on Phu Phan mountain.
Sema Saengrit, the 23-year-old shooting victim, later told police a pickup truck cut in front of his motorcycle outside Wat Aranyikawas in Kalasin’s Na Mon district about 1am on Tuesday.
A man in the truck then shot him in the face before abducting the young woman who was riding pillion on his motorcycle.
Mr Sema said the bullet had only pierced his cheeks, so he played dead and later called for help.
He said the attack occurred while he and the woman were returning to their university to complete a video project after buying food.
He said that neither he nor his companion knew their attacker.
Kalasin police chief, Pol Maj Gen Montree Charanpong, said yesterday that teams from Na Mon police station, Kalasin police headquarters and Provincial Police Region 4 were involved in the hunt.
Surveillance camera footage showed the suspect at a convenience store, but police had yet to determine the licence plate number on his black Toyota Vigo pickup truck, he said. Detectives found a spent bullet casing from a 9mm gun near the crime scene.
The victims said they were not in a relationship, but police had not ruled out a love twist as a possible motive, Pol Maj Gen Montree said.
Police had a sketch of the suspect and expected to arrest him soon, he said.