Bangkok: Thai police today said they had arrested a man suspected of gunning down a former pistol-shooting champion who twice represented Thailand at the Olympics.

Jakkrit Panichpatikum, 40, a household name in Thailand, was shot last month in Bangkok as he drove to the house of his estranged wife. Their stormy relationship was feverishly followed by Thai tabloid newspapers.

Police said they had arrested a 33-year-old man in connection with the killing and are searching for two more men, including a lawyer believed to have paid USD 3,100 for Jakkrit’s shooting.

Lieutenant General Kamronwit Toopkrajang said the arrested man is thought to have followed Jakkrit for 10 days before opening fire on the sports star and making a getaway with an accomplice on a motorbike.

Thai media published grisly photographs of the victim’s bullet-riddled body slumped at the wheel of his sports car.

Jakkrit was recently in the limelight after his mother and his wife filed a complaint to police alleging he had assaulted and threatened his wife.

As well as appearing to enjoy his bad boy image, Jakkrit was Thailand’s best shooter, reaching the quarter-final of the Beijing Olympics in 2008 in the men’s 10 air pistol and competing in last year’s London Games.

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