Police in Northern Thailand have arrested a 44 year-old man for shooting and killing a Buddhist Monk in a forest in Lampang Province. Pol Col Sopon Ponkantha, a Lampang police chief, identified the shooter as Sakol Pumthong, 44.
Phra Bundhit Prom-iam, 69 was found dead by villagers on Saturday. His body was found in a pick-up truck near a small hut in the forest near Sop Moh village in Lampang. The Buddhist Monk had been shot once in the head with a shotgun. The body had swollen and decayed, sending a foul smell throughout the area. An police investigation pointed to Mr Sakol as the murderer of the Buddhist Monkand. Mr Sakol was found hiding in the forest nearby in Lampang.
According to police, Mr Sakol confessed he shot Phra Bundhit because the Buddhist Monk had criticized him for drinking liquor. On Wednesday morning, while the monk was collecting alms in the village, Mr Sakol said he entered the monk’s hut to retrieve a rifle hidden there. When the Buddhist Monk returned in his pick-up, he walked over to the vehicle and opened fire through the side glass window, killing him instantly. He then walked about one kilometer from the spot, hid the rifle under a tree.
Mr Sakol was brought to the scene for a re-enactment of the crime on Sunday morning. He said he had stayed with the Buddhist monk in his hut for about 10 days. His wife had kicked him out of their house for excessive drinking. The monk had provided him with food and water during the stay. He said he shot Phra Bundhit out of anger because the monk scolded him about his drinking habit.