One of the tuk-tuk drivers, Chatchai “Loh” Dumchua, has already surrended to police and handed in the gun used in the shooting.
Police were called to the scene, in front of a Family Mart located on the street exiting from the Patong Tower Condominium onto the beach road, at 4am.
On the ground already dead was Panya “Jack” Kingjumpa, 45, reported Lt Col Sittipol Chai Chumchor of Patong Police.
Mr Panya’s wife, Rattana Boonchu, told police she witnessed the shooting.
Her husband had dropped her off near the scene so she could help solicit passengers for motorbike taxis, a job that both her and her husband did, she explained.
Two tuk tuk drivers standing around there told her not to steal her customers’ property, she said.
Ms Rattana angrily shouted back at the men, something she said she had never done before.
Hearing his wife’s angry shouts, Mr Panya turned around and asked her what had happened, leading to a fight between him and the two tuk-tuk drivers, she said.
One of the tuk-tuk drivers punched Panya in the face, then Panya ran back to his bike to grab a wooden baton to hit the drivers.
Then four to six tuk-tuk drivers arrived, and started beating Panya with wooden and steel rods, Ms Rattana said.
One of the men shot Panya once in the stomach. He collapsed and died at the scene, she said.
The tuk-tuk drivers fled in their tuk-tuks, she added.
Tuk-tuk driver Chatchai surreneded himself at Patong Police Station late last night.
Police confirmed that Chatchai will be charged with murder.
Police have yet to mention whether they are looking for the other tuk-tuk drivers that took part in the mass beating.
The deadly attack came just 19 days after Patong Police Chief Col Anotai Jindamanee held a meeting to teach Patong taxi and tuk-tuk drivers to stop beating and cheating tourists in a project named ‘Being Good Host’. (See story here.)
That meeting was called after six people comprising tuk-tuk drivers and at least one motorbike taxi driver were filmed viciously beating two tourists from the UAE in front of Malin Plaza in Patong. (See story here.)