A police officer is on the run after accidentally shooting a 23-year-old pregnant woman after the owner of a gambling shop refused to pay him a $10 extortion fee.
The shooting occurred on Monday at roughly 2.45am at a gambling shop in Tuol Sangke commune.
Police officer Sok Kosal said the suspect was not in uniform when he demanded a $10 nightly protection fee from Saing Narin, the owner of the gambling establishment.
Mr Narin refused to pay, as he claimed he had already paid many times to other local police officers for protection and allowing the shop’s operation, Mr Kosal said.
“The suspect was angry at the owner of the shop for not giving him the money as he demanded. He then pulled a pistol from his waist and fired a bullet into the ground to threaten him,” Mr Kosal said. “The bullet ricocheted off the ground and hit a three-month pregnant woman near the shop causing injuries to her stomach.
“After shooting the victim, the suspect dropped his gun and drove away on his motorbike, managing to escape successfully.”
The woman, who was not fatally injured, was rescued by neighbours and sent to Calmette Hospital for treatment. It is not known whether there is any damage to her unborn child.
Teang Chansar, chief of Russey Keo district police, said the suspect was not one of his officers and that they were working hard to find the officer and bring him to justice.
“So far, we do not know the identity of the suspect. We are seeking his arrest in order to punish him,” he said.
Mr Chansar added that the gambling shop owner was arrested yesterday by district police over the illegal operation of a gambling den.
He is currently being held for questioning at the district police station and is due in court today.