A police officer allegedly shot two men to death and injured three others after opening fire at a neighbor’s party on Tuesday in Sen Sok district’s Phnom Penh Thmei commune, police said yesterday, adding that the suspect turned himself over to authorities directly after the incident.
Meas Vonsaneath, a 44-year-old Khmuonh commune police officer, exchanged heated words with his neighbor, Long Hun, 47, and Mr Hun’s six guests on his way home from work on Tuesday afternoon, according to Mok Hong, Sen Sok district police chief. In anger, Mr Vonsaneath revisited his neighbor’s home at 5 pm with an AK-47 rifle and opened fire on the seven men, Mr Hong explained, adding that the victims had armed themselves with wooden sticks and axes in anticipation of Mr Vonsaneath’s return.
After four shots from Mr Vonsaneath’s rifle, Mr Hun and his 17-year-old son, Long Lyheng, were killed, and three other guests suffered minor injuries, according to Phnom Penh Thmei commune police chief Keo Santhoth, who added that the assailant walked to the nearest police station after the incident and asked to be arrested.
“The gunman, along with his wife and children, walked into the Sen Sok district police station and allowed district police to arrest him. He handed over his AK-47 rifle and made no attempts to escape,” Mr Santhoth recounted.
Mr Santhoth explained that this incident followed a longstanding feud between the two households.
“The victim’s family and the assailant’s family had been fighting for many years… Mr Vonsaneath claims that the victim’s family had always looked down on him,” he said.
Municipal penal police questioned Mr Vonsaneath yesterday, and officials will send his case to the court today, said Chuon Narin, municipal penal police chief. Although the victims charged at Mr Vonsaneath with weapons and the suspect was hit once on the head before opening fire, Mr Vonsaneath will be prosecuted for intentional murder because of the extent of the mayhem he caused, Mr Narin explained.
“Although the victims had wooden sticks and axes to fight with him, Mr Vonsaneath was not acting in self-defense because his gunfire killed two people and injured three others,” he said.