Angry Mob Sets Fire to Gov’t Truck After Police Shooting

A man was shot dead and ano­ther wounded by military police in Dangkao district Tuesday afternoon, leading angry locals to set a mu­­ni­cipality truck on fire, said district deputy police chief Choup Sok Heng.

A military policeman fired his weapon at about 1:30 pm on Na­tion­al Route 3 after a truck passed through a “mobile” checkpoint with­out stopping, he said.

The bullet grazed the left arm of Chap Cham­roeum, 22, who was on the back of a motorcycle riding away from the checkpoint, hitting the bike’s driver Dith Piseth, 21, in the back and killing him.

“Maybe the military policeman wanted to shoot the truck’s tires but accidentally ricocheted a bullet at the boys, or maybe the policeman intended to shoot the boys,” Choup Sok Heng said. “We don’t know.”

Khan Neang, 37, of the municipal military police motorcycle bri­gade, is suspected of firing the fatal shot, Choup Sok Heng said. Police are searching for Khan Neang, who fled the scene, he said.

Angered by the incident, a mob of about 300 onlookers from two nearby villages swarmed the checkpoint, setting ablaze a municipal public works truck that was parked by police vehicles.

Chan Soveth, spokes­­man for local rights group Adhoc, said witnesses saw police throwing rocks at the truck passing through the checkpoint to force it to stop.

Witnesses also said that the slain man, Dith Piseth, was the brother of the truck driver who didn’t stop, and had argued with the officers at the checkpoint. Vil­lagers alleged that it was only after the argument that police shot the two teenagers, Chan Soveth said.

They said when vil­­lagers came to help the gunshot victims, the military police officer taunt­ed them and threatened to shoot, yelling that he still had eleven bullets in his pistol, Chan Soveth said.

Municipal Court Prosecutor Ngeth Sarath said he ordered dis­­­trict police to investigate further before issuing an arrest war­rant.

 

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