Police say they are searching for a gunman who entered Phnom Penh’s popular Rock nightclub in the early hours of Friday morning and shot another man in the chest and shoulder, leaving him seriously injured.
Eng Sorphea, chief of the municipal police’s serious crimes bureau, said officers had already identified the suspect but were relying on the victim’s account of the shooting, as they were not allowed into the Rock Entertainment Center to investigate the scene.
“We are searching to arrest the suspect who fled after shooting two times, causing one man to be badly injured,” he said, identifying the victim as Mot Makara, 28.
Mr. Sorphea said the suspect, whom he declined to identify, had called the victim and told him to come outside the nightclub but that the victim had ignored the request and continued dancing inside.
“The victim simply let the suspect wait a few minutes, then the suspect entered and shot the victim two times,” he said.
The bureau chief said officers who responded to the shooting were not allowed to enter the club, which is owned by powerful businessman Kith Thieng. He refused to say why Rock had the authority to prevent police from investigating a crime scene.
“We don’t have much information. We knew the shooting happened after they sent the victim to the Khmer-Soviet hospital,” he said.
A receptionist at the club said that all media outlets had been told not to report on the shooting, declining to give her name or comment further.
Sam Ros, a manager of the club, said he knew nothing about the shooting.
“I went to the province that day,” he said. “I do not know anything about a shooting in the club.”
The incident comes about a year after the son of a high-ranking customs official was arrested for firing 30 rounds inside the club in March 2015, leaving one man injured. The shooter, 24-year-old Keo Vitou, was eventually sentenced to just eight months in prison.
Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that the Rock nightclub in Phnom Penh is owned by tycoon Kith Meng. It is owned by his brother Kith Thieng.