Police Officer Kills 1, Injures 2, Empties Town in Rampage

Oddar Meanchey Provincial Court yesterday charged a 39-year-old judicial police officer with murder after he allegedly went on a shooting rampage with an AK-47 assault rifle that killed a 13-year-old boy and injured two others in Ang­long Veng commune, according to court and police officials.

Lim Yoan allegedly began firing on the family of Bora Reaksmey, a 22-year-old girl he had been courting, on Sunday evening after her mother refused to repay a $450 loan he had given her and Ms Reaks­mey rejected his advances, according to provincial penal police bureau chief Ham Phearum.

“The suspect confessed that the victim had borrowed money from him and that he was in love with Bora Reaksmey. And when she stopped loving him, he asked for the money. But they said no, so he became very angry,” said Mr Phea­rum, adding that both Ms Reaks­mey, whose head was grazed by a bullet, and her father, who was shot in the torso, are expected to recover. Ms Reaks­mey’s cousin, 13-year-old Vong So­chea, died instantly after being shot in the back.

Mr Phearum said that Mr Yoan fired six bullets with an AK-47 he took from the district police office after most of the local officers had left to reinforce the troops patrolling the nearby Thai border.

The sound of Mr Yoan’s AK-47 alarmed local villagers, according to deputy commune chief Pann An, who claimed that 455 families fled his village Sunday night thinking that Thai soldiers were advancing on their village, which sits near the border.

“Villagers carried their small children and some of their property and left in homemade trucks and rented cars to find a safe place,” said Mr An. “Now provincial and district authorities are trying to protect the belongings people left behind so no one steals it and trying to inform them they can come back.”

Chief provincial prosecutor Kuy Kanya said yesterday that Mr Yoan was charged yesterday with premeditated murder then sent to “an investigating judge before being placed in pretrial detention.”

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