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Police officer held after shooting

Buth Reaksmey Kongkea / Khmer Times Share:
Authorities detain the accused. Kampuchea Thmey

Sen Sok district police on Monday arrested an anti-drug police officer working with the Ministry of Interior after he allegedly got drunk and shot at a civilian at home with a mother and daughter inside as he sought revenge over a case from the past.

The shooting took place at about 10.30pm on Monday at the victim’s rental house located in Phsar Toek Thla village in Toek Thla commune.

Captain Sok Savuth, a district penal police officer, identified the suspect as Lieutenant Colonel Heng Sovannara, 47, deputy chief of the Anti-Drug Police Office at the Ministry of Interior and living in the same commune as the victim.

Cap Savuth identified the victim as Sona, 35, the owner of a laundry shop in Toek Thla commune and who is married to 45-year-old Kuy Ratha.

Cap Savuth noted that on Monday evening, the suspect became drunk and was reminded of an argument between him and the victim’s husband, Mr Ratha, who had bought a car from him last year but did not pay for it. Mr Ratha is currently in jail after a complaint was filed against him related to the case last year, he added.

Cap Savuth said that in his drunken state, he became growingly angry while remembering what happened and drove his car to the victim’s house in Toek Thla commune. The suspect later took out an AK-47 rifle from his car and fired a total of 11 bullets at the victim’s house before he fled the scene and drove back to his home, he added.

Cap Savuth said that Ms Sona and her 12-year-old daughter were inside the house during the shooting, while noting that no one was injured. However, the suspect broke the windows and other properties in the house, he added.

“He was drunk and became angry with the victim’s husband who owed him money since August last year and never paid him back,” Cap Savuth said. “He then drove his car to take revenge out on his family. He took out an AK-47 rifle and fired 11 bullets at the house. However, luckily the bullets did not hit anyone in the house.”

“After firing at the victim’s house, he got into his car and drove home,” he added.

Cap Savuth noted that after hearing the shooting, district and communal police officers patrolling nearby intervened. Police inspected the crime scene and questioned Ms Sona and her daughter, he added.

He said Ms Sona recognised the suspect and identified him to the police.

Cap Savuth said that police moved to arrest the suspect in his home at about 11pm on the same evening and seized an AK-47 rifle along with 12 unused bullets as well as one car from him.

Cap Savuth added that police conducted drug and alcohol tests, which came back negative for drug use but recorded a 0.71 percent of alcohol level.

Colonel Hour Mengvang, chief of Sen Sok district police, yesterday said that the suspect is accused of attempted premeditated murder and illegal use of weapons.

He added that the suspect was still detained at district police for questioning and will be sent to Phnom Penh Municipal Court for questioning today.

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