Police shot a man dead during a motorbike chase in Phnom Penh on Thursday and arrested two of his accomplices, with the trio suspected of carrying out a string of armed robberies, authorities said Friday.
Kheng Piseth, 26, was killed in an open field behind Prey Sar prison in Dangkao district after firing a K-57 pistol toward officers who had been chasing the suspect for about an hour, according to municipal penal police chief Eng Sorphea.
“We had to protect ourselves,” Mr. Sorphea said, adding that there would be no internal investigation into the man’s death as he had fired the first shot.
Mr. Sorphea said the incident began after the arrest of a man—whose identity is being withheld due to ongoing investigations—who was driving on Veng Sreng Street at about 3 p.m. He informed police of the location of Kheng Piseth’s rental home in Stung Meanchey commune, which they subsequently raided.
According to Mr. Sorphea, a second unidentified man was arrested at the house, while Kheng Piseth escaped by jumping from a first-floor window.
He then stole a motorbike and fled with police in pursuit, said Mr. Sorphea. After 10 minutes, Kheng Piseth abandoned the motorbike and stole another, only to abandon it shortly after and flee to the Sun Sky garment factory.
Mr. Sorphea said that once at the factory, Kheng Piseth took a third motorbike and led police behind Prey Sar prison, where he began shooting at police before officers returned fire, killing him instantly.
“At about 5 p.m., he drove behind Prey Sar prison, where he was shot by police,” Mr. Sorphea said.
“There were nearly 100 police, including police from Tuol Kok, Meanchey, Pur Senchey and Dangkao districts who tried to arrest him,” he said, adding that no one else was injured during the chase.
The two unidentified men will be sent to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Sunday, Mr. Sorphea said.