Police in Phnom Penh arrested a teenage student and three men on Thursday afternoon and Friday morning for allegedly killing a high school rival with a sword last month, and said they were seeking three additional suspects currently at large.
The seven suspects are accused of murdering Oeun Samorn, 16, with a samurai-style sword after he drove by on a motorbike and “mocked” them as they loitered outside a soft drink shop in Pur Senchey district on the evening of June 13.
Chea Sovann, a deputy district police chief, identified the arrested suspects as Hong Sun Ey, 16, a student; Noeurn Makara, 25, a car repairman; and Sao Vathey, 20, and Long Seng, 18, both unemployed. He said the suspects and the victim were from two rival groups of “gangsters” who either attended the district’s Chumpou Voan High School or were friends with students.
Thang Kosal, the police chief of Choam Chao commune, said Oeun Samorn had annoyed the suspects by driving by with his friends to “mock” them as they sat in front of the soft drink shop. An argument ensued, after which Oeun Samorn apparently hit one of the suspects in the face, the police chief said.
“Then one of the suspects took the samurai sword and they chased him on their motorbike to hack him for revenge,” he said.
Mr. Kosal said that Oeun Samorn and his friends had tried to flee on their motorbikes, but that Oeun Samorn’s under-powered Honda Today scooter could not outpace the Yamaha F-Z motorcycle driven by the suspects with the sword.
“His scooter could not go as fast as…the suspects’ bike,” he said. “The suspect arrived and started to hack him from behind and fled after the victim fell to the ground.”
The four suspects were questioned on Friday at the Pur Senchey district police station, and each of them confessed to having been involved in the attack but each claimed that he was not the attacker who dealt the fatal blow, according to deputy district police chief Touch Phorn.
“Even if they were not the attackers, they assisted with this attack and caused somebody to die,” he said, adding that all four would be sent to court to face charges over the weekend.