A staff member of the US-based Christian organization Church World Service was gunned down Monday night by unidentified attackers as she made her way home along Phnom Penh’s Street 271, police said.
Program manager May Meakea, 55, was shot once in the head around 9:10 pm by two men wearing raincoats and riding a motorbike, Chamkar Mon district deputy police chief Ouch Sokhon said Tuesday.
“According to our police investigation, this [attack] occurred because of a personal dispute,” Ouch Sokhon said. “The offenders only shot to kill the victim and escaped. They did not take any belongings.”
Her husband, Ung Chhiv Teck, said he and May Meakea were riding home on a motorbike taxi after taking evening classes at Pannasastra University.
Sheltered from the rain by an umbrella, his wife was seated behind him when the two attackers approached on a motorbike and shot her. “She died on the spot in my arms,” he said. “The offenders aimed to kill my wife.”
Ung Chhiv Teck said he did not know why May Meakea was targeted, but questioned whether the attack was prompted by her work with CWS, where she had worked for the past two years. “We never had any disputes or enemies with our neighbors. We both work every day and we have no time to create a dispute,” he said.
Reached by telephone Tuesday, staff members at the CWS office in Phnom Penh declined to comment, saying their organization had asked them not to speak to reporters about the case.
Police have made little progress in their investigation, Ouch Sokhon said.
“Even the victim’s husband did not recognize the faces of the gunmen and we do not have any [other] witnesses for information because it was raining when the incident occurred,” he said.