Gunman Is Official’s Bodyguard, Police Say

The man who gunned down a neighbor at a birthday party Saturday night in Kandal province is a member of the Interior Ministry’s bodyguard department, where he was tasked with guarding a “high-ranking official,” police said Monday.

Tim Sary, 35, has been on the run since Saturday when he used his Chinese-made CF 98 pistol to shoot Srey Chanvuthy, 43, 14 times, killing him on the spot.

Phach Phalla, deputy police chief of Kandal’s Ang Snuol district, where the shooting took place, said police knew Mr. Sary was a police officer working as a bodyguard but did not determine exactly where he worked until Monday.

“We found out he is working at the bodyguard department of the Ministry of Interior,” Mr. Phalla said.

Touch Naruth, chief of the bodyguard department, confirmed Mr. Sary was employed there in the unit’s intervention bureau.

He added that his department was cooperating with Kandal provincial police to find and arrest Mr. Sary.

“Those who commit wrongdoing must be arrested,” Lieutenant General Naruth said.

A senior police official speaking on condition of anonymity said that Mr. Sary was a bodyguard for a government official, but declined to give more details.

“The gunman…works as a personal bodyguard for one high-ranking official,” he said. “The gunman can’t escape from our police net.”

Police said Monday they still do not know what sparked Saturday night’s incident or why Mr. Sary may have shot the victim so many times.

According to a police report provided by provincial police on Sunday, Srey Chanvuthy was shot a total of 14 times: four times in the stomach, twice in the side, twice in the left knee and three times each in his chest and right knee.

Mr. Phalla, the deputy district police chief, said on Sunday that police suspect the two had a disagreement prior to the shooting.

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