Family claims no altercation occurred with friend before Calgarian was shot in Thailand
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"The version Carly (Reisig) is telling is what happened. Leo (Del Pinto) and Carly were not fighting — they are close friends and they have no reason to argue."
The family of a Calgary man killed in Thailand is disputing reports he was fighting with a close female friend before he was shot.
Calgarian Leo John Del Pinto, 25, was killed in the town of Pai, Thailand early Sunday morning when a police officer allegedly shot him once in the face and once in the torso during an altercation.
Family friend Ross Fortune, speaking on behalf of the grieving family, told Metro that Del Pinto and close friend Carly Reisig from Chilliwack, B.C., were leaving a bar when Reisig was struck in the face by a man.
“The version Carly is telling is what happened. Leo and Carly were not fighting — they are close friends and they have no reason to argue,” Fortune said, adding Del Pinto would never have fought a police officer in uniform.
QR77 news radio in Calgary reported Reisig, recovering from gunshot wounds in a Thai hospital, and Del Pinto were leaving the bar when a Thai man attacked them.
“I was talking with Leo and a man hit me in the forehead and Leo said, ‘nobody hits her’ and he pushed the guy down and when he got up he had a pistol in his hand,” she told the station, adding that’s when he shot Del Pinto and then shot her.
Sergeant Uthai Dechawiwat was allowed to walk free during the investigation because he turned himself in after what he said was an accident and promised not to tamper with witnesses, Pai police chief Wanchai Suwanririkate told Reuters. ??
“Since he has surrendered after the shootout, we let him go free after informing him of charges of murder and attempted murder,” Wanchai said.
Fortune believes the shooting wasn’t an accident as reported, adding that he said Thai authorities got several facts wrong, including reports claiming Reisig was Del Pinto’s girlfriend or ex-wife and that she was pregnant.
The long-time friend said information coming from the Asian country just doesn’t add up.
“Leo was a very patient, kind, caring, and understanding person. He has never been in a fight in his life and he is the negotiator when any of his friends fight,” Fortune said.
The family is waiting for Del Pinto’s body to return to Calgary so they can give him a proper service. They are also seeking answers from the Thai authorities and the Canadian Government, Fortune said.