Market Shooting Leaves Vendors Incredulous

Following Friday’s shooting in one of the city’s most popular tourist markets, vendors on Sun­day fretted over Phsar Tuol Tum­pong’s reputation and what they called the first shooting in the market’s history.

“I am a little concerned,” souvenir vendor Chea Khim, 43, said Sunday, as Cambodians and Western tourists browsed nearby. “The shooting could scare customers from buying.”

On Friday morning, a few me­ters from Chea Khim’s kiosk of stacked wicker baskets and tourist kitsch, a customer’s bodyguard reportedly pulled a pistol and at close range shot a 27-year-old woman in the chest.

Witnesses said the bodyguard to a Chinese woman got into a brief argument with jewelry vendor Chheang Narin, then pulled a pistol and shot her. The bodyguard and woman he accompanied fled the market in a Toyota Camry and have not been seen, said Toek Kum, deputy police chief of Chamkar Mon district.

Chheang Narin was receiving treatment Sunday at Calmette Hospital, said her mother, Chea Nareth. Her kiosk was shuttered.

“I’ll talk about it because this sort of thing cannot happen,” said Mik Vanna, who sells silkstuffs at a corner stall next to Chheang Na­rin’s. She said she heard a brief argument and a shot, and then saw the man and woman leave the market, unhindered by police or security officers.

“The shooter must be arrested. If he can’t, it could take place again,” she said.

Few customers were at the market at the time of the shooting, and regular business had re­sumed Sunday. But some vendors remained jittery.

“This could cause some worry for customers because, after all, they only had a verbal argument,” said Keo Tola, who peddles silk kramas and dresses. “Some customers, Cambodian and foreigners, they ask me why the kiosk is closed down. I have to tell them that the woman was shot.”

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