The shooting was reported to Bang Rak about 9:30pm.
The white Lexus SUV belonging to the once popular police officer was parked outside in the Surawong Sarika Co parking lot. Seven bullet holes were found in the doors on the left side of the vehicle.
Pol Lt Gen Surachet, known as Big Joke, was not in the car at the time. He was at a business meeting in a nearby restaurant.
The adviser to the Prime Minister's Office said after seeing the bullet holes in his car that he was certain the shots had been intended to take his life. However, he had no conflict with anyone, he said.
Pol Lt Gen Surachet rose rapidly through the police ranks during the five-year rule of the military after the 2014 coup, due to his close ties with Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon.
He was chief of the Police Immigration Bureau until last year, when he was suddenly shunted out of law enforcement circles to the civilian position of adviser at the Prime Minister's Office. The reason for his sudden fall from grace was never explained and remains obscure.
Gen Prawit said today he would not jump to conclusions about last night's attack, whether it was a set-up or a personal conflict. He was awaiting the police investigation report.
Deputy national police chief Wirachai Songmetta said earlier today that forensic experts would examine the bullets extracted from the car doors, to determine what type of firearm was used.
Witnesses said a person on a motorcycle had fired the shorts, he said. Pol Lt Gen Surachet would be called in to give information to police later today (Jan 7).