Jakkrit Panichpatikum was the type of bad boy only a mother could love, and even she wasn't sure about him.
GRIEVING: Nitiwadee Pucharoenyos, wife of former national sports shooter Jakkrit Panichpatikum, cries at her husband’s cremation ceremony at Wat Phra Si Maha That in Bang Khen on Thursday. PHOTO: APICHIT JINAKUL
After the star sports shooter was arrested in mid-July for shooting at the family home in Min Buri _ and according to his mother Boonkid Panichpatikam and wife Nitiwadee Pucharoenyos threatening to kill his own children with a 9mm pistol _ his mum was at pains to explain his erratic behaviour, blaming it on his drug addiction.
''He was hallucinating and paranoid,'' she told local media. ''He didn't allow his wife to leave the house. He shot at her and one of the children and used a stun gun on her.
''I couldn't stand it any more. I told her to leave the house, but my son threatened to kill them all and everyone in the house if she left. That is why she stayed put.''
Three months later Jakkrit, 40, was killed in a hail of bullets while driving his black Porsche sports car to meet his wife for dinner. Jakkrit, known by his nickname ''X'', was gunned down by the pillion passenger on a Kawasaki Ninja motorcycle about 6.30pm last Saturday near Ramkhamhaeng Soi 166.
His wife _ a doctor from a wealthy family _ was the first to the murder scene after Jakkrit's maid, who was also in the Porsche, called her to tell her husband had been shot. He died in the back of a rescue truck from three gunshot wounds while on the way to Seriruk Hospital in Min Buri, while his wife says she desperately tried to resuscitate him.
BOY WITH A GUN
Jakkrit was born to be a champion shooter and took an interest in the sport when he was very young, his mother said.
QUESTION TIME: When Jakkrit was taken to the Min Buri police station and charged with the attempted murder of his wife he showed off a wristwatch he planned to give to his daughter.
His father Manop had been a successful sporting shooter on the international stage and Jakkrit wanted to follow in his footsteps.
''When he was young he went to the shooting gallery,'' Mrs Boonkid told Spectrum last week.
''He started asking his father soon after that if he would teach him how to shoot and his father promised he would train him to be a national team sharpshooter.
''When Jakkrit was 15 years old he was able to become involved with the Thai national team as he dreamt of. He was our pride.''
At the age of 18 Jikkrat earned his first full call-up to the national team and success quickly followed with two bronze medals at the 2006 Asian Games in Qatar in the 25m centre-fire pistol individual event and the 25m standard pistol team competition.
He also made the final of the 10m air pistol event at the 2008 Olympics and competed at the 2004 and 2012 games.
But controversy was never far behind. He was a short-tempered sportsman who alienated reporters and officials alike with his caustic comments and abrasive manner. In 2009 he was sent home from the SEA Games in Laos after a very public falling out with shooting officials. His battle with officialdom was an ongoing one and led to a great deal of bad blood. He publicly accused them of not supporting him and it got to the point where he was forced to buy his own training bullets.
Blessed with roguish good looks, Jakkrit also earned a reputation as a ladies' man who liked to party, but this too came with a dark side.
According to a report by Manager Online before his death, he had become more violent in the past two years towards his family and had started using drugs including cocaine, methamphetamine and ecstasy. There were also drug parties at home with Jakkrit bringing other women.
Mrs Boonkid said that he flaunted his lovers in front of his wife.
''One time my daughter-in-law went with Jakkrit to a shooting range in the Ramkhamhaeng area for an interview with a TV programme,'' his mother told Manager Online. ''On that day, he took his mistress with him. He forced her to accept that woman as part of the family. She wasn't happy and it showed on her face. But Jakkrit just slapped her and hit her in front of all media.''
FEARFUL FINAL WEEKS
After Jakkrit's arrest over the July 14 shooting his fall from grace was clear from the ensuing court proceedings.
MAKING AMENDS: Jakkrit gives a flower to his Dr Nitiwadee in an attempt to reconcile with his family. He was released on bail on Aug 19. PHOTOS: APICHIT JINAKUL
He was facing charges of attempted murder, assault, illegal possession of firearms and committing violent acts.
Dr Nitiwadee, 38, said she once told her husband she wanted to leave him and take the children with her. She said he then ''poked a pistol at my face and threatened that I could take only their souls''.
Jakkrit insisted ''I never thought of killing my wife and children'' but admitted he sometimes resorted to violence in family matters, adding ''quarrels'' are a normal part of family life.
But police refused his bail application three times on the grounds he was a threat to the safety of his mother and wife.
Jakkrit was ordered to undergo a narcotics test at Police General Hospital. Dr Nitiwadee claimed her husband had taken drugs for some time but his addiction worsened after returning from the London Olympics.
A police search of Jakkrit's house in the Ramkhamhaeng area uncovered drug paraphernalia and a cache of firearms including a rifle similar to an M16, a shotgun and two semi-automatic handguns as well as three bullet shells.
Jakkrit spent almost a month in a military prison in Nakhon Prathom before he was released on bail on Aug 19.
The family eventually dropped the charges, with his mother saying last week it was a family problem and both she and her daughter-in-law had forgiven him.
''This case had to be finished,'' she told Spectrum. ''There was no benefit to anyone from letting it continue like that.''
His wife last week revealed in a popular TV show Jor Kao Den hosted by Sorayuth Suthassanachinda that the couple's relationship was getting back on track after the trauma of the shooting incident in July.
She said she had spoken to Jakkrit almost every day since the charges were dropped and he was released from prison. He was also visiting his daughters at home and school on a regular basis and had learned to apologise for his violent behaviour, the first time he had said ''sorry'', Dr Nitiwadee said.
The reconciliation was conducted under the guidance of Social Development and Human Security Minister Paveena Hongsakula. After the shooting, Mrs Paveena had placed the family, including Mrs Boonkid, in a safe house with officers on 24-hour guard.
Despite the relationship appearing to be on track, Jakkrit had an ominous feeling that someone was after him, according to his father. In the weeks before he was slain he had kept moving locations and had sought the protection of prominent politicians.
Ex-commerce minister Chaiya Sasomsab said he was paid a visit by Jakkrit at his home in Nakhon Pathom days before he was murdered to discuss his problems.
Mr Chaiya denied media reports he had offered Jakkrit protection, but said the shooter had talked about several issues worrying him including 30-40 million baht kept in a bank safe deposit box which Jakkrit claimed his wife had removed.
Mr Chaiya said he also doubted other media reports that Jakkrit had been murdered as a result of his involvement in the lucrative amulet trade.
HIS FINAL DAY
On the day he was gunned down, Jakkrit had intended to meet his wife and children. His plan was to bring them all to his Ramkhamhaeng Soi 174 home to show them a bedroom he had prepared for his children. He called his wife, who on her Facebook page refers to herself as a beauty expert who has her own line of ''Beauty Angel'' products, early in the day but she said she wasn't available and would meet him in the evening.
RELATIONSHIPS TESTED: Jakkrit Panichpatikum’s mother, Boonkid Panichpatikam, and wife, Nitiwadee Pucharoenyos, right, lodged a complaint in July with Social Development and Human Security Minister Paveena Hongsakula, accusing him of physically assaulting them.
''We tried to meet outside somewhere but it never happened,'' she said. ''On the day he was shot, I took my children to have lunch at McDonald's around 2pm because they like it there. On the way home, my children talked on the phone with Jakkrit. He told our daughter that he had already redecorated the bedroom for her and asked if she wanted to see it.
''My daughter wanted to go see her new room but I couldn't take them to his house because I had some business to do. So I told him that I will take the children to see him for dinner after finish working.''
At 6.30pm, Jakkrit sent a text message asking his wife when she was coming over. Due to the lateness of the hour, Jakkrit was invited to come over to his wife's house on Ramkhamhaeng Soi 166, one kilometre away from the murder scene. He was also asked to bring his maid Wan, who is the sister of Dr Nitiwadee's maid.
''I got a phone call from Wan not long after the conversation with my husband,'' Dr Nitiwadee said.
''She said that Jakkrit had been shot. I was in shock and almost passed out, but I told myself I had to be there so I grabbed the car keys and drove to the scene.
''When I arrived, he was barely breathing. I called the rescue team to come with resuscitation equipment.
''I asked for the oxygen mask but they didn't have it, so I asked them to take Jakkrit's body from his car and I gave him CPR while we were on the rescue truck heading to the closest hospital. I told Jakkrit all the way that to wake up even though I knew deep in my mind that he has already gone.''
MOTIVES WHITTLED DOWN
Police have centred on four motives for Jakkrit's slaying: drugs, the amulet trade, a family matter and his long-standing dispute with the Shooting Association.
But late last week those theories were whittled down to two as drugs and amulets were deemed unlikely murder motives.
Metropolitan Police Bureau chief Pol Lt Gen Khamronwit Thoopkrajang said Jakkrit was only a drug user and not a dealer.
''He has a group of few friends who he met to take drugs with,'' he told Spectrum. ''As far as our investigation team is concerned this cannot be the motive for the murder as he has no connection to any drug dealers.''
After his release from prison, Jakkrit stayed with amulet dealer Sunthorn Boonthaweewat for three weeks. Mr Sunthorn told police Jakkrit made a great deal of money from helping him make amulet deals, but again police did not see this as a motive for murder.
''They [amulets] were all purchased and that is unlikely to suggest any conflicts,'' Pol Lt Gen Khamronwit said.
The Kasikorn bank safety deposit box in Min Buri held in Jakkrit's name was opened on Thursday by Dr Nitiwadee, who had been given the key by her husband. Pol Lt Gen Khamronwit said no money was inside the safe and all the amulets they discovered had been properly purchased.
Atipparut Garnjanasoowun, acting president of the National Shooting Sport Association, said Jakkrit was in conflict with the body for a long time, mainly when Pongpol Adireksarn was in charge.
However, Mr Atipparut said none of the disputes was serious enough to prompt anyone to kill Jakkrit.
He did add that Jakkrit may have had problems with some members of the association outside the sport. ''You should know that many board members of the association are police officers and politicians,'' he said. ''It's not good to fight these people.''
A letter purportedly written by Jakkrit to TV reporter Sorayuth _ who was friends with the sportsman _ was posted online by Siamsport News on Thursday and only adds to the puzzle. Hand-written by Jakkrit while he was in prison, it accuses his own mother of trying to discredit him, adding she was being given negative information by some friends with ''ill intentions'' towards him.
Jakkrit also claims a police officer friend who did not wish him well told him he would be granted bail if he went for treatment for mental illness at a psychiatric ward.
''I know exactly what he is trying to do,'' Jakkrit wrote. ''He is trying to get me into the hospital and have it declared that I have no ability to live my life as a normal person because I am mentally ill. Then I can't have any access to my own money, properties, family, wife and children.''
Jakkrit also mentions the safety deposit box, but says it only contains amulets, diamonds and watches.
''In order to open it, the bank will need my signature and the key which I have given to my wife. Other people can open the safe too but they will need my signature first. These people who I am talking about are targeting my two houses and some other valuable properties.''
The letter prompted Pol Lt Col Rathawit Saenthaweesuk, an Anti-Human Trafficking Division inspector, to dismiss speculation he had an affair with Dr Nitiwadee and wanted to steal Jakkrit's possessions.
Pol Lt Col Rathawit said he had known Dr Nitiwadee for six years, and she had sought his advice on many issues. The police officer said he helped Jakkrit find a lawyer and brought a title deed to secure his bail and added that Jakkrit was found to have suffered from bipolar disorder.
When Spectrum went to press police were still interviewing family members over the shooting. The funeral rites and cremation of Jakkrit concluded late last week.
FINAL GOODBYE: An emotional Dr Nitiwadee cries during her husband’s cremation on Thursday, the conclusion of funeral rites at Wat Phra Si Maha That.