Deputy national police chief Pol Gen Somyot Poompanmoung said Col Apiwan did not contact the police to arrange for his surrender.
The Criminal Court issued a warrant for the arrest of Col Apiwan on Wednesday, as sought by police at Chana Songkhram station in Bangkok.
A lese majeste complaint was filed against Col Apiwan at Chana Songkhram police station on June 26 this year.
Pol Gen Somyot said the complainant presented in evidence a compact disc containing Col Apiwan's speech at a red-shirt rally on Puek Tian beach in Phetchaburi province on Jan 29, 2011.
The complaint had been delayed during the tenure of the past Pheu Thai-led coalition government.
The National Council for Peace and Order has already banned Col Apiwan from leaving the country, the deputy police chief said.
He said police had sought warrants for the arrest of two suspects in the fatal shooting of Kamol Duangphasuk in the car park of Khrok Mai Thai Lao restaurant at about 2pm on April 23 this year.
Based on witness accounts, police believed one of the suspects was the gunman and the other was a motorcyclist driving the gunman, Pol Gen Somyot said.
Mr Kamol is also known as Mai Nueng Kor Kunthee and was a red-shirt activist.
He said police had enough evidence to link Mr Kamol to the use of war weapons in violent incidents in Bangkok.