Military Police Officer Shot Dead in Restaurant Dispute

A national military police lieutenant was shot and killed early yesterday morning while he was moonlighting as a security guard at a restaurant in Phnom Penh’s Tuol Kok district.

Deputy district police chief Chum Sambor wrote in a police re­­port that the victim, Kheng So­ph­eap, 28, was shot in the stomach at 1:30 am by a man whose party-of-six were involved in a confrontation several hours earlier with staff at the Singapore Restaurant.

According to the report, the six men, who had been eating and drinking at the restaurant with a woman, drew the ire of restaurant staff at about 11 pm when one of them smashed a glass. A manager called the owner of the restaurant and asked the group to calm down, the police report said.

The owner and Kheng So­pheap, who worked as a security guard at the restaurant to earn extra money, drove to the restaurant separately. When they ar­rived, the group of men called for the bill and left, the report added.

At about 1:30 am, however, five of the men returned on two motorbikes and confronted the owner, saying they wanted to meet a female beer promotion worker.

After being told that the restaurant was closed, one of the five men drew a handgun and fired into the stomach of Kheng So­pheap. The group then fled the scene on their motorbikes.

Pong Savrith, deputy municipal military police chief, said yesterday that authorities knew the identity of the suspected killer and his accomplices.

“This group is a gang and we hope to arrest them soon,” Mr Savrith said. “They can’t escape,” he said.

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