A Sunday evening dance-floor scuffle led to the second shooting in six days involving children of powerful Phnom Penh families, police officials said Monday.
At about 7:20 pm, two cars pulled alongside a Toyota Corolla being driven by Eng Malin, the 25-year-old daughter of two-star RCAF Air Force General Eng Suosdey, who was accompanied by her brother Eng Tito, 15, police said.
Shots fired by her pursuers—two of which hit the Corolla, one grazing Eng Tito’s leg—caused Eng Malin to swerve off of Monireth Boulevard near the corner of Street 310 and crash into a resident’s fence. She and her brother fled into a nearby home, and the assailants drove off, police said.
“Six to 10 gangsters were driving two cars and shooting crazily on the public street. First they shot into the air, and then they shot into the victims’ car with a handgun,” Penal Police Chief Reach Sokhon said Monday.
The exact cause of the dispute was unclear. The victims and witnesses have so far been reluctant to talk, Reach Sokhon said, adding that all witnesses have been summoned for further questioning.
Reach Sokhon said police do know that shortly before the shooting, at about 7 pm, security guards at the newly opened U2 nightclub attempted to mediate a dispute involving the RCAF general’s children and another party. The argument was over someone having his feet trampled in the club.
But even the security guards are afraid to identify the other party, the police chief said.
Pov Pidaul, deputy police chief for Tuol Svay Prey II commune in Chamkar Mon district, said Monday that Eng Malin and Eng Tito had been attending a birthday in the new club Sunday night. He said the club had been featuring popular karaoke singers to celebrate its grand opening, which was Saturday.
The U2 club, located in the Chenla Theater on Monireth Boulevard, is apparently the spawn of another establishment of the same name that still operates down the street. Both clubs are popular among Phnom Penh’s wealthy and middle-class youths.
One low-level police official, who asked not to be identified, said he suspected that Sunday nights shooters belonged to the same group responsible for last Monday night’s drunken car collision and shooting that killed three and wounded four.
That incident occurred as a four-vehicle convoy was leaving a birthday party at the villa of a high-ranking official and the lead car crashed into a coconut truck, according to Reach Sokhon, who is also investigating that case.
“I have a headache from working hard on all the shootings,” he said Monday.