Bati district police in Takeo province said a robber was shot and killed while attempting to steal an officer’s vehicle in Trapaing Sap commune yesterday.
Bati district police said that three suspects attempted to steal a vehicle belonging to police officer Nam Sophoan.
To stop the three suspects from escaping, police said they fired warning shots into the ground as they drove off on a motorbike, accidentally striking one of them and killing him. One other man was arrested and the other escaped, police added.
Mr Sophoan said he was asleep inside his police vehicle when the suspects attempted to steal the car.
“I was asleep inside the car while waiting for my father in law at 1am,” he said. “At about 2am the suspects were attempting to open the car door, but I woke up and the suspects fled when they saw me.”
Mr Sophoan then called for backup on his walkie-talkie. Commune police came to his aid and hid and set up to ambush the three suspects.
When confronted by the police , the suspects attempted to flee and the warning shots were fired.
Local media identified the dead suspect as Sem Chay, 21, while the apprehended suspect was identified as Soeun Pv, 21. The suspect at large was not identified.
Khut Lo, a district police officer with the criminal investigation department, said that the family of the dead suspect has already retrieved his body for a funeral.
“We are preparing documents to send the one arrested suspect to the provincial police office, and for the one who died, his relatives already came to receive the body to do the funeral, ” he said.
Mr Lo added that the shooting was not intentional, but was meant to stop the suspects from fleeing.
“The shots were meant to threaten them, to stop them from fleeing, ” he said. “We shot into the ground, but the bullet ricocheted and hit one of them. There were three of them. We arrested one but the other one escaped.”
Mr Lo declined to name the officer who fired the fatal shot, but said he is a district police officer who was working at the Trapaing Sap commune police office. Takeo provincial police chief Sok Samnang and the Trapain Sap commune police chief could not be reached for comment.