Revenge for terrorizing his neighbors was most likely the motive for last week’s shooting death of a former Kompong Speu province soldier who had just been demobilized, police said Sunday.
Police believe a gunman shot and killed Chan Saroeun, 33, with an AK-47 assault rifle Tuesday evening in front of Chan Saroeun’s Phnom Srouch district home because the newly disarmed soldier often threatened his neighbors with his own weapons, Kompong Speu province police chief Tes Choy said.
Chan Saroeun had just put his young daughter to bed and was helping his wife cook dinner when he died, Tes Choy said. He took two steps outside of his home and the gunman, crouching within five meters of the home, opened fire. Two bullets struck Chan Saroeun, and he collapsed and died in front of his home, Tes Choy said.
Police ruled out robbery almost immediately because Chan Saroeun was poor, and now believe an angry neighbor was behind the attack. Before the government demobilized him, Chan Saroeun often used his own
AK-47 to threaten his neighbors. He also often got drunk and fired the weapon, Tes Choy said.
Police have identified a prime suspect, but were still gathering evidence before they would make an arrest, Tes Choy said.
Phnom Srouch district, which was once hotly contested by various armed factions, has a long legacy of violence, Tes Choy said. Many of the district’s inhabitants still have their own private stashes of weapons hidden away.