Officers Won’t Be Charged in Karaoke Shooting

A police officer and an RCAF officer will not face charges following the shooting of a karaoke singer at the X2 club in Daun Penh district on Thursday night, Municipal Po­lice Commissioner Touch Nar­uth said Tuesday.

Singer Sovann Thida, 23, was shot in the hand in a private kar­a­o­ke room when, according to Touch Naruth, the RCAF officer, whose name he declined to divulge, accidentally fired a handgun, which he was spinning around his finger by the weapon’s trigger guard.

According to Touch Naruth, the singer and the soldier’s karaoke parlor colleague, Russei Keo district police officer Khon Sothearoth, 21, attempted to stop the RCAF officer from playing with the gun when it discharged. Neither the soldier nor the police officer will have criminal charges filed against him, and $3,500 has been paid to Sovann Thi­­da as compensation.

Attempts to locate the injured singer at Calmette Hospital were un­successful on Tuesday.

Staff at X2 on Street 214 would not comment on the shooting.

Touch Naruth would not reveal the identity of the soldier or how he might be penalized. He said that the police officer “is receiving punishment,” though he declined to specify what that meant.

“There was a compromise al­ready. She was not seriously in­jured,” the city’s top police chief said, add­ing that X2 employees were to blame for not preventing his officer from entering the building armed.

A X2 security guard, standing next to a sign reading “No weapons allowed,” said on Tuesday that he and another guard usually check customers who enter the building.

“But that night, there was a group of six people, three police and three military police. Since we knew they were police, we let them in,” the guard said on condition of anonymity.

In February, a beer promotion girl was shot in the thigh and wrist at a karaoke bar in Tuol Kok district by an RCAF colonel who was ar­rested for the shooting, but later re­leased. The officer said he had ac­ci­dentally dropped his handgun, causing it to go off. Later that month, another soldier fired his gun into the ground at a beer garden in Chamkar Mon district, hitting ano­ther beer promotion girl in the leg.



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