Cambodian Shot Dead in US

Two young Cambodian street gang members were shot, one fatally, in a failed robbery attempt at the home of a wealthy plastic sur­geon in the US state of Cal­ifornia, the San Francisco Chron­icle newspaper reported.

Soknoeum Nem, 21 and Mesa Kasem, 22, both convicted felons and members of the Asian Street Walkers gang, broke into the suburban house of Kim Fang, an accomplished mark­s­man, last Tuesday even­ing, the newspaper reported, citing police accounts.

Fang, 49, who died hours later after defending his home against the two intruders, fatally shot Me­sa Kasem and wounded Soknoe­um Nem, according to the report.

Although both young men were known to be violent offenders since their teens, their families said that they were planning to change their lives.

“My brother is a good person,” Prany Kasem was quoted by the newspaper as saying. “He wanted to start his life all over again.”

Soknoeum Nem, who had fled to the US from Cambodia with his family in 1983, was known by the nickname, “Half Dead” after he survived a bomb explosion as a child in Cambod­ia.

His 15-year-old sister said that he had recently talked of becoming a monk. The paper reported that Soknoeum Nem is in fair condition at a local hospital and is expected to be charged with murder and robbery.

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