It’s difficult to comment on the death of John Leo del Pinto, the Canadian tourist who was shot by a Thai policeman in Pai, according to reports. First, this from The Nation:
A Canadian tourist was shot dead and his wife wounded early yesterday morning near a pub in Mae Hong Son province after a scuffle with a policeman.
Pol Sgt-Major Uthai Dechawiwat claimed shots were fired accidentally after the foreign couple tried to snatch his pistol from him.
He said he had used the gun to threaten them when he was down on the ground after the couple beat him up.
Quoting witnesses, case investigator Pol Lt-Colonel Sombat Panya said the couple had been drinking in a local pub called Ting Tong. They became involved in a drunken brawl after Del Pinto, who recently arrived in Thailand, found out that Reisig had become pregnant with a Thai man known as Fuen.
The Bangkok Post had this substandard report from DPA:
A Canadian tourist was shot and killed and his wife wounded while tussling with a Thai policeman, local media reported Monday.
John Leo Del Pinto, 25, was drinking in the Ting Tong pub in Mae Hong Son, a northern province on the Burmese border, when he discovered that his Canadian wife Carly Reisig, 24, was pregnant by another man.
Witnesses claim the pair quarreled furiously early Sunday inside and later outside the pub before they were approached by police Sargent Uthai Dechawiwat who asked them to calm down, reports said.
The officer claimed the couple turned to attack him, beating him to the ground, when he requested they relax. He used his service pistol to threaten them only for Del Pinto to attempt to snatch it.
Then this came from The Nation:
Speaking from her bed in hospital in Chiang Mai, Reisig, from Chilliwack, British Columbia, rejected a police statement that suggested Sgt-Major Uthai Dechawiwat, 37, had intervened to break up a fight and his gun had discharged in a struggle.
"My face was painted with face paint, for fun, but I don't know why he hit me. We had never met him before, never seen him before. We were unarmed and walking down the road after a good night out.
"He was dressed in plain clothes, a white T-shirt. Leo shouted at him, 'You can't hit her!' and pushed him away from us. Then the man went to his motorbike and got his gun, and Leo tried to get it away from him.
"They had a struggle for the gun, then the man got control of the gun and stepped back and shot Leo directly in the face.
"I have never been married, I am not pregnant. Leo was my ex-boyfriend from Canada. He had arrived in Pai a few days before to see me."
The whole story is a mess. If there is any justice that can be done here, it will likely become buried beneath conflicting stories and spontaneous media reports. There is no clear motive for the Canadian couple to have beaten up the Thai policeman, but likewise, there’s no clear motive for him to have shot them both.
As I said, it’s difficult to comment on this one.