Two nightclub security guards have been hospitalized with bullet wounds after a drunken reveler shot them with an AR-15 rifle in front of the Manhattan Cafe club in central Phnom Penh in the early hours of on Monday morning, military police officials said.
The suspect, Chao Rainsey, 31, was apprehended by other members of the club’s security personnel and handed over to military police shortly afterward, according to National Military Police spokesman Eng Hy.
“The suspect shot more than 10 rounds and hit two security guards. The security chief got hit in the stomach and another was hit in his right hand,” Brigadier General Hy said.
“We confiscated as evidence an AR-15 rifle with six bullets in the magazine and a [Honda] PCX scooter,” he added. “We have no motive. The suspect did not tell us why he did this.”
Ngat Nguon, deputy military police commander in Daun Penh district, where the shooting occurred, said that the suspect was quickly handed over to municipal military police after admitting to buying the high-powered weapon illegally.
“He told us that he bought the gun from a soldier in Pailin province at the border with Thailand,” Mr. Nguon said, identifying the wounded men as Kang Chetra, 47, the nightclub’s head of security, who sustained the more serious injury, and Dum Thy, 42.
“The two are in the emergency ward at Calmette Hospital,” he said.
Outside the club on Monday, a motorcycle-taxi driver, who declined to be named out of fear for his safety, said he witnessed the shooting, which occurred at about 3:30 a.m.
He said Mr. Rainsey became livid when the guards denied him entry to the club, and began swearing at and insulting them.
“The suspect said, ‘Just you wait, I will go and get my gun and shoot you dead,’” the driver said.
When Mr. Rainsey returned, he nearly made good on his promise.
“The suspect shot many times, but I am not sure if he shot the security guards directly or if the bullets ricocheted and hit them because I ran away,” he said.
When he came back, the driver said, “I saw the two security guards had been injured and the suspect had been arrested by other security guards.
At the hospital on Monday, the wives of the two guards said they had not yet been able to get an account of what had happened outside the club, as their husbands were still in the emergency room.
Local news website Deum Ampil reported that the suspect initially became enraged after another man touched his wife’s waist on the dance floor inside the club, and that he went to retrieve his weapon to take revenge.
When he returned to the club with the AR-15, according to the report, he was refused entry and began firing at security staff.