Cop Missing After Allegedly Shooting Man in Back

A commune police officer from Kompong Cham province is on the run after allegedly gunning down a young man who tried to run away from police questioning at a dance party, officials said Feb 2.

Police in Dambe district’s Seda commune called over local gang member Hy Heang for questioning after other people at the dance on the night of Feb 1 complained that he had thrown a stick at them, district police chief Khut Dien said.

But when Hy Heang, 23, ran in the opposite direction, 46-year-old commune police officer Tinh Narith shot him once in the back with an AK-47 rifle, Khut Dien said.

“Police just tapped him on the back for questioning when he was dancing, but he started to run and [Tinh Narith] fired his gun accidentally because he was very shocked,” Khut Dien maintained.

Police are preparing to ask the pro­vincial court for an arrest warrant for Tinh Narith, who fled the scene in Tumpor village immediately.

Khut Dien said he regretted the killing. “I feel sorry. You can say my leadership of the police force is not good,” he said.

Sim Heang, an investigator for local rights group Adhoc, alleged that Tinh Narith was drunk.

Hy Heang’s family want his killer arrested and are seeking $2,500 in compensation, Sim Heang said.

Khut Dien denied that Tinh Narith was intoxicated.

Keo Srey, Hy Heang’s 50-year-old aunt, accused another commune police officer identified as Leang of driving Tinh Narith away from the scene of the crime.

Commune police could not be contacted, but Nuon Samin, provincial police chief, said no one helped Tinh Narith escape.

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