BANGKOK (CNN): A man who allegedly went on an armed rampage at Thailand’s biggest airport is now facing charges, one of which could be eligible for the death penalty.
The man, identified as 34-year-old Watchara Khambut, faces seven charges over the incident at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport on Wednesday, May 3.
According to Suvanabhumi Airport’s general manager, Kittipong Kitikachon, Khambut arrived at the airport on a motorbike at 11:50 a.m. and attempted to drive through a security checkpoint. When he was denied entry, he allegedly made a U-turn, entered the airport another way and pulled out a gun.
The accused is said to have climbed stairs into an airport building where security guards say they saw him trying to smash a glass door, which was the only thing between him and the passenger part of the airport, Kitikachon said.
Police Colonel Jirawat Piampinseth told a press conference on Thursday that Khambut, who is from Loei Province in northeast Thailand, was being charged with crimes including property damage, inciting panic and threatening to harm people.
According to Piampinseth, Khambut was carrying an ax but the gun was found to be fake. Police said Khambut was under the influence of drugs and that a pill known as Yaba — a mix of methamphetamine and caffeine — was on his person when he was arrested.
Thai police told CNN that one of the charges is based on Section 19 of Thailand’s Act on Certain Offenses Against Air Navigation, which can carry capital punishment.
“The maximum sentence could be death penalty but there are still other judiciary steps to decide if the man should receive such sentence,” Piampinseth told CNN.
The motivation behind the alleged incident isn’t known, police said. “The accused said he didn’t even how he ended up at the airport,” Piampinseth added.