Win Min Thut, a 37-year-old Bethlehem resident accused of shooting his wife in front of their three children, told responding police officers after the incident that he had planned to commit suicide with the gun that killed his wife on Dec. 17.
Thut appeared in Lehigh County Central Court today for his preliminary hearing, standing accused of criminal trespassing, burglary and the homicide of his wife, Thida Myint, 37. He remains in custody of the Lehigh County Prison with no bail set.
In his shackled hands, Thut clutched and kissed a picture of an unidentified female throughout the hearing.
Prior to the shooting and death of Myint on the afternoon of Dec. 17, Thut had appeared in court that morning and received a protection-from-abuse order, evicting him from his family’s residence at 319 Central Park Avenue as well as excluding him from contact with the deceased Myint, according to Bethlehem police detective Shawn Molony.
Molony testified that following the shooting he questioned Thut, at which point he indicated that that he had been in possession of his father’s .38 caliber firearm because he had planned to kill himself following the court’s protection-from-abuse order.
During the interview Thut told Molony that following the hearing he went straight to his house in spite of court orders, only to find no one home. He then proceeded to his parents’ house where he obtained the semi-automatic revolver in question.
Upon later returning to his Central Park residence he ran into his wife and three children, at which point a confrontation ensued.
“His wife was yelling for someone to call 911,” said Molony, relaying the story of Thut’s reentry. “He said ‘Give me a minute to explain!”
In response, his 16-year-old daughter Thida ran into the kitchen and grabbed a knife as Thut continued to plead his case, gripping her by the arm. She managed to break free from him and follow her mother and two siblings who ran outside, according to Detective Molony.
At this point Win Min Thut removed the firearm from his pocket, loaded the magazine and proceeded to follow them outside.
“He wanted to threaten her because she would not give up the child,” said Molony.
Thut told detectives during an interview that he had never used the gun before.
As Thut followed his family into the street, his barefoot wife began to fall in the snow covered street with her three-year old daughter in arm.
“He went to grab the three year old [and] that’s when the gun went off,” said Molony.
Thut claimed he had no intent to shoot and kill his wife.
Win Min Thut’s arraignment has been set for Feb. 14, when he will be expected to enter pleas for the charges levied against him.