A man was gunned down and killed early yesterday at the gates of a high school on a busy Phnom Penh thoroughfare as his daughter and niece, and numerous students looked on, police said.
Bun Ly, 40, was shot twice in the back by two gunmen on a motorcycle as he brought his daughters and his niece to Boeng Trabek High School in Chamkar Mon district’s Tonle Bassac commune at 6:40 am, according to Chuon Naren, municipal penal police chief.
The two gunmen fled, and the victim, a wholesale fish-snack seller from Kandal province’s Takhmau City, died at the scene shortly afterward, Mr Naren, said.
“The first step that our investigation police concluded [is] this case is a revenge case because the gunmen’s action was premeditated,” Mr Naren added.
The assailants shared one black 125cc motorcycle, according to Mr Naren, and police have identified shell casings at the scene as belonging to a K-59 handgun.
One suspect, 45-year-old Chem Ny, was arrested at 9:30 am yesterday in Kandal province’s Sa’ang district and is being questioned, said Iv Chamroeun, Kandal provincial police chief.
Having completed an examination of the body, police were yesterday afternoon able to pass the remains body to the victim’s wife, who is preparing for funeral rites in Sonsam Kosal pagoda, said Ouch Sokhom, Chamkar Mon district police chief.
At the scene, two sugar-cane vendors who preferred to remain anonymous for fear of retribution said the victim was shot from behind as soon as the family arrived at the school gates.
“The youngest daughter was crying and shaking [the body] and crying: ‘Papa, papa, wake up,'” said one. The other added: “Her action made us so sorry.”
Kuong Sreypich, an 18-year-old student at the school, said that she arrived after the shooting to see a crowd of roughly 50 students surrounding the corpse.
“I saw a lot of people all around the man…. I saw the [wound] in his body and a lot of blood coming out,” she said. “My friend told me the older daughter was walking to class and she heard the shot and turned back and saw her father and cried, ‘oh daddy.'”
Ms Sreypich said that lessons continued as usual at the school after the ambulance had removed the corpse.
“People were scared…but not too bad to study,” she said.
This is at least the third unsolved attack in the capital in the past two weeks. Less than a kilometer from the school, a 17-year-old girl and her parents were brutally killed in their ransacked apartment on Oct 19. Ten suspects were arrested last week, but all were later cleared and released due to lack of evidence.
And in neighboring Prampi Makara district on Oct 15, a bakery owner was shot while in his car. His body was dumped on the street at the corners of Streets 114 and 215.
Kek Pung, president of the human rights group Licadho, said that though yesterday’s crime was not unusually violent, it had notably occurred in broad daylight.
“The repetition of street violence and killings of ordinary citizens must be addressed by authorities,” she said.
Bun Ly is survived by a daughter of 4 years of age and a niece and daughter of between 13 and 14 years old.
(Additional Reporting by Lucy Jordan)