A Songkhla zoo employee under investigation in the disappearance of two albino barking deer shot dead the director-general of the Zoological Park Organization of Thailand before turning the gun on himself.
Suriya Saengpong was in Songkhla leading the probe into who stole the exotic animals from their Sonkhla zoo cage.
The ZPO transferred Chalermwut Kasetsomboon, director of the Songkhla Zoo, and three other officials to its headquarters pending the investigation of the deer case.
After the shooting, the gunman, one of the four transferred staff, killed himself at the zoo’s staff accommodation, 300 meters from the crime scene.
He was identified as Poowadol Suwanna, a veterinarian and head of the zoo’s Conservation, Research and Animal Health Division.
Jatuporn Buruspat, permanent secretary for natural resources and environment, expressed condolences towards the family of Suriya.
Officials had yet to investigate if the murder resulted from the transfer or the disappearance of the deer.
Natural Resources and Environment Minister Varawut Silpa-archa was informed of the incident and ordered full compensation for the family of the dead.
The board of the Zoological Park Organization was investigating the incident and would report its findings to the minister right away.