Alleged Shooting Suspect Proves Elusive

A Chinese national who was allegedly arrested for firing 17 bullets from a gun in Phnom Penh’s Russei Keo district early Wednesday morning had apparently disappeared by the afternoon, with several police officers unable to give his location or the status of the case.

Commune police went to the scene of the shooting at the Cam­bodian Ma­chinery Equip­ment Group’s sale yard in Chroy Chang­va shortly after 6 a.m. and found 17 spent bullets cases, commune chief Pich Saroeun said.

“We arrested the [suspect] and sent him to the district police headquarters immediately for questioning,” Mr. Saroeun said.

People who heard the shots had reported the gunfire to police.

Russei Keo district police chief Teang Chansa confirmed Wednesday morning that he had “received a Chinese man and that he was under questioning,” but he declined to comment further on the case.

At the scene of the alleged shooting, a Cambodian Machinery Equipment Group manager who refused to give her name denied that there had been any shooting, but other witnesses disputed her account.

Two security guards manning the entrance to the yard said a shooting had occurred. “The Chinese man came here and shot a gun this morning,” said one guard, who declined to give his name as he was not authorized to speak to the press.

“He came and he shot a bird,” the guard said.

During a visit to the Russei Keo district police office, officers on duty said they had not seen the alleged shooter, adding that the case of the Chinese national had been transferred to Phnom Penh’s Foreigner Police Department. However, an officer at the Foreigner Police department said that he knew nothing about the shooting and that “talking about this case could make problems.”

At 5 p.m., Haobe Kheang, a marketing manager at Cambodian Machinery Equipment Group’s business office in Pur Senchey district, said that he knew nothing about a shooting or any arrest at the company yard in Russei Keo.

“I do not know about the shooting,” Mr. Kheang said, adding that he knew nothing of the arrest of any Chinese employee.

Contacted Wednesday evening, Russei Keo district police chief Mr. Chansa declined to comment when asked if the shooting suspect had been released.

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