The mother of a man who was fatally shot by a police officer in Kratie province filed a wrongful death complaint with the provincial court on Monday, while the whereabouts of the shooter and his colleagues remained unknown.
Oum Sina, 32, was shot and killed during an altercation with police after beating another man unconscious with a wooden stick inside a general store in Prek Prasap district’s Chroy Banteay commune on Saturday evening in what appeared to be an unprovoked attack.
The commune police officer who pulled the trigger, 43-year-old Tuon Lin, fled the scene along with three colleagues, but authorities said on Sunday that no attempt would be made to track them down without a court-issued arrest warrant.
Oum Sina’s mother, Chab Son, 54, said on Tuesday that she filed a complaint against the four officers at the Kratie Provincial Court on Monday.
“I wonder why four police officers went to kill a single person,” she said. “I think the police intended to shoot him and did not ask questions.”
“If they had shot his legs, he would not be dead,” she added. “It was so cruel.”
While police have said Oum Sina was known to be a drug addict, Ms. Son said she had “never seen him using drugs anywhere.”
Ms. Son added, however, that her son fell into a depression about 10 days before his death, upon returning home from a year spent logging in the country’s north only to learn that his wife had left him for another man.
“My son was not talking much, but he was OK after he received a water blessing,” she said, referring to a common Buddhist ritual.
Ty Sovinthal, chief prosecutor at the provincial court, said he received Ms. Som’s complaint on Tuesday and had given the case to a deputy to handle, but that it was too soon to assign blame.
“Don’t make judgments about who is right and who is wrong,” he said.
Huot Lim Heang, chief of the provincial police’s serious crimes bureau, said his officers were now searching for Mr. Lin and his colleagues but would not arrest them.
“We want to hear the real story, and then we will send a report to the prosecutor,” he said.