A military police officer from Pailin municipality is on the run after allegedly shooting and injuring two people at a Chinese New Year party Sunday, police said Thursday.
The suspect had previously worked with a conservation project in Pailin and Battambang province’s Samlot district funded by US actress Angelina Jolie.
An intoxicated Chhoem Nget shot Mey Chanrath, 34, and her brother Mey Bory, 20, with a K-59 handgun at about 8 pm Sunday during a party at their home, said Phat Thea, deputy police chief in charge of security for Pailin.
Both victims were struck through the leg by a single bullet, he added. Chhoem Nget, who was off-duty at the time, had threatened partygoers with his gun before firing, Phat Thea said.
Pich Chhoeuth, Mey Chanrath’s husband, said he had invited Chhoem Nget to the party but that the officer became irrationally angry after drinking too much.
Chhoem Nget fled into the forest and has not been seen since, Phat Thea said, adding that police are waiting for the court to issue a warrant for his arrest.
Stephan Bognar, executive director of the Maddox Jolie Pitt project, said Thursday that he plans to meet with the military police to find out more about the incident. Bognar also said that the incident happened a week earlier than Phat Thea reported.
The gunman is not an employee of the MJP but he has been receiving money from the MJP in the form of “performance bonuses” for his work on conservation projects over the past two years, Bognar said.
The suspect is one of 10 military police officers who cooperate with MJP staff on conservation work, he said.
The shooting was a “tragic incident,” Bognar said, adding that the officer will not be permitted to work with the MJP again.
Pailin Military Police Commander Chheang Song could not be reached for comment.