A Phnom Penh orphanage security guard was shot and killed in an apparently random shooting by a drunken soldier Saturday night, police said.
Nhean Him, 37, was chatting with friends at about 11:30 pm in front of the Kolap I orphanage—where he had grown up and still lived—when he was approached by the soldier.
“Why haven’t you gone to bed?” the soldier said, according to a police report. Without another word, the soldier fired a K59 pistol, the report stated.
A bullet struck Nhean Him in the back near his shoulder, and he collapsed to the ground. Two friends gathered him up and put him on a motorcycle, but he died en route to the hospital, the police report stated.
Authorities arrested Vong Sam Or, 38, immediately after the shooting. Vong Sam Or, a soldier in the Q101 intelligence department, had been drinking earlier that night at a Sisowath Street restaurant. He drove his motorcycle a short distance and then fell off it moments before the shooting, the police report stated.
“He probably felt furious and ashamed when his motorbike fell down. He pulled out his gun and started shooting at people,” Srah Chak Commune Chief Chhay Thirith said.
Nhean Him had been a guard for six years at the Cambodia School of Prosthetics and Orthotics, which teaches people how to make, fit and use artificial limbs. Orphaned by the Khmer Rouge, who also killed five of his siblings, Nhean Him married in 1999 but lost his wife a year later when she died during childbirth, school Principal Bill Velicky said.
Friends, coworkers and family held a funeral for Nhean Him Monday at Wat Lanka, Velicky said. It was attended by his only known surviving relative, Um Phat, 56, of Svay Rieng province. She was Nhean Him’s aunt, Velicky said.
Nhean Him had been a “mild, peaceful man. He always greeted people with a smile,” Velicky said.