One Dead, One Seriously Hurt During Brawl

A 28-year-old man was shot dead in Phnom Penh on Sunday evening and another man, also 28, was left seriously injured after he was struck in the abdomen by a bullet during a brawl in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district, police said Monday.

The fight broke out at about 7 p.m. when six men on three motorbikes pulled up outside a house in Chak Angre Loeu commune and confronted seven other men who had been sitting outside drinking for the past hour, according to commune police chief Hut Vanna.

Within seconds, members of the two groups, all of whom were in their 20s, began punching and kicking each other, Mr. Hut said. When two of the men ran into the house and returned with machetes, the six assailants tried to flee, he said. But when two of them fell off their motorbike, another brawl broke out, and one of the men pulled out a gun and opened fire.

“When the group of victims ran to attack the two suspects [who fell off the motorbike], the four other men turned back to protect their friends and one of them fired six shots, hitting one in the throat and one in the stomach,” Mr. Hut said.

Cheam Veasna died from his throat wound at the scene, while San Sambo, who was hit in the stomach, was taken to Calmette Hospital for treatment, he said.

Two of the assailants, Cheng Ramy and Phorn Sophal, were arrested by police after residents who had heard the commotion restrained them, Mr. Hut said, adding that the other four suspects escaped.

“The suspect who used the pistol escaped. We don’t know why they had the gun, but we believe the groups knew each other for a long time, as they knew the house of the victims,” he said.

District police chief Choem Sitha said the two detained suspects, who were sent to municipal police headquarters for questioning, were convicted robbers and had been recently released from prison.

“The other suspects are still at large. They are also robbers, which is why they had a gun. They want to rob in the city again,” he said.

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