The military police officer who turned himself in this week after firing a volley of bullets at a couple, hospitalising both, made his first court appearance on Wednesday after providing an explanation for his actions to police interrogators.
Kong Ravin, 30, was shot three times and his girlfriend Soeung Vin, 25, was shot twice two weeks ago in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district and they were sent to Calmette Hospital for treatment.
The couple had reportedly been in a near crash with the shooter, Bun Teng, 32, who later turned himself in to military police.
In an interrogation video released yesterday, Mr Teng claimed that he shot at the couple because he thought Mr Ravin was going to shoot him first.
Mr Teng explained that he knew the victims through a mutual friend and had been out with all of them a day before the attack, when he got into an argument with a separate person, misplacing a magazine from his gun during the scuffle.
Mr Teng said he went looking for his missing magazine the following day at the bar, then at his friend’s house, the mutual friend of the victims who was with him during the fight the day before.
While at his friend’s house, he spotted the two victims in their car outside the house.
“There were two people in the car when I arrived and I was alone in my car,” Mr Teng told military police. “When I pulled up next to the car of the victims, I rolled down my window and he also rolled down his car window and I asked him if he knew where my gun magazine was, but he did not answer.”
“It seemed like he was drunk,” he added. “Then, he acted as if he was pulling a gun from his waist, making me think that he was pulling a gun out to shoot me, so I took out my gun and shot at him five times.”
Han, a Phnom Penh military police officer, said the suspect has been returned to prison following his first court appearance.
“We sent him to the court yesterday and the court is taking further action,” said Mr Han. “He has been detained temporarily at the prison.”
Mr Han said he could not comment on what charges have or may be laid against the suspect.
“Our job is to extract the basic facts and it was hard in this case,” he said. “We got the suspect and he told us his side of the story, but the victims have not cooperated.”
Ly Sophanna, Phnom Penh Municipal Court spokesman, could not be reached for comment.