Family distraught after Briton is killed at party
The family of Stephen Ashton, who was shot dead at a New Year's Eve party in Thailand, said they were "completely devastated" by their loss.
The 22-year-old was an innocent bystander simply enjoying New Year celebrations, they said.
Mr Ashton, from Purley, south London, was caught in the crossfire of a gunfight between rival gangs.
He is said to have been killed by a stray bullet as he danced with friends at a beach bar on the paradise island of Koh Phangan.
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Police Colonel Kittakarn Kramomthong, chief of police at the island's station, said officers had arrested a 26-year-old Thai man and confiscated a gun.
The man is expected to be charged with manslaughter, he said.
It was reported that Mr Ashton's family had travelled to Thailand and were on their way to Koh Phangan to identify his body formally and make arrangements for his repatriation.
British ambassador to Thailand, Mark Kent, is expected to visit the scene today.
Thai police said Mr Ashton was with a group of friends and 300 other tourists celebrating the countdown to 2013 at a pub and restaurant called the Zoom Bar when he was shot with a home-made gun at Haad Rin beach.
In a statement issued by the Foreign Office, the family said: "As a family, we are completely devastated by the loss of Stephen from our lives.
"He has been taken away from us in such cruel and tragic circumstances in which he was an innocent bystander simply enjoying New Year celebrations.
"We are comforted in the thought that he was having a fantastic time with friends after such a difficult period following the loss of his much- loved dad, who passed away from a brain tumour in 2011 and the loss of his granddad a few months earlier.
"We were all so proud of him, he was a much-loved son, brother, grandson and nephew.
"He will be truly missed by his family but also by the many friends he made during his life.
"We cannot comprehend how someone can carry out such a reckless act, giving such little value to human life.
"We ask that our privacy be respected to allow us to grieve."
Mr Ashton's MP Richard Ottaway said he had been in touch with the Foreign Office to ensure everything was being done to support the investigation.
The Conservative Croydon South MP, who chairs the Foreign Affairs Select Committee, has also contacted the family to extend his condolences and offer assistance.
He said: "I have spoken with the Foreign Office and I am assured that they are doing everything in their power to get to the bottom of Mr Ashton's death.
"I have written to Mr Ashton's family to offer my help in any way that I can."