Rayong activist shoots himself

A well-known Rayong-based environmentalist died early Wednesday after he shot himself in the head at his home on Tuesday evening.

Suthi Atchasai, 49, a former leader of the Rayong-based People's Eastern Network, known for its anti-industrial pollution movement that targeted the Map Ta Phut industrial estate, was pronounced dead at Rayong Hospital at about 4am.

Suthi was seriously injured after he shot himself in the right temple with a .38 revolver in his pickup truck parked in a garage at his home in Muang district at about 4pm yesterday. Police investigators said he fired three shots at the windshield before shooting himself.

Suthi’s mother, Chin, 74, alerted a local emergency response team to rush him to hospital.

Mrs Chin said her son asked her about dinner when she was cooking in the kitchen before he left. She then heard his pickup start and several gun shots shortly after. 

She said Suthi appeared normal when he talked to her in the kitchen. 

Police said debt-related stress appeared to be the cause of his suicide. Suthi started up a restaurant business last year but suffered a loss that forced him to finally shut it down. His older brother, Monthon, told police Suthi had recently said he felt stressed because of his financial problems and lent him some money.

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