Police Say No Leads in Murder of Man in Noodle Restaurant

Police said Monday they have no leads in Sunday night’s slaying of a man who was beaten to the ground before being shot in the back of the head inside a noodle restaurant in Phnom Penh’s Boeng Keng Kang I commune.

At about 7:30 p.m. Sunday, two men chased Lor Sopheap, 32, into the Phnom Penh Sheng He Noodle Soup and Suki Soup restaurant at the intersection of streets 63 and 392, said Eng Sorphea, chief of the Phnom Penh municipal serious crimes police bureau.

“The two suspects attacked the victim while near the restaurant and on the other side of street, but the victim ran into the restaurant because he was looking for help,” Mr. Sorphea said. “However, the suspects followed him inside.”

“The suspects then hit the victim in the back of the head,” he added. “When the victim was laying on the ground, [one] suspect shot the victim in the back of the head, shot him on the right arm and shot him in the back. The fourth bullet missed.”

Mr. Sorphea said police did not know what type of gun was used in the shooting and, so far, have no suspects.

“We haven’t identified any suspects yet because we have only been investigating for a day,” he said.

Police have, however, ruled out robbery because nothing—including the motorbike Lor Sopheap left across the street from the restaurant—was stolen, Mr. Sorphea said.

At her husband’s funeral Monday at the San Samkosal pagoda in Meanchey district, Khlaing Sreyneang, 26, said she last spoke to Lor Sopheap about 30 minutes before his death.

“At about 7 p.m. my husband called me to have dinner and I waited until nearly 8 p.m. for him to pick me up,” she said, adding that he was on his way home from the Sigma Textiles garment factory, where he worked as an administrative director and a Chinese translator.

Ms. Sreyneang said she and Lor Sopheap had only been married for six months.

“He never had an argument or problem with anyone,” she said. “I have no idea what caused the murder.”

She said local media reports claiming the shooting was over an outstanding debt were unfounded. “Our family does not need to borrow money,” she said, adding that she manages a restaurant in Meanchey district.

Lor Lykun, 35, Lor Sopheap’s sister, said when her brother wasn’t working he was studying interior design at the Setec Institute in Phnom Penh.

“He’s not a person who goes out at night to meet people because he is always studying and then goes back home,” she said.

Ms. Lykun added that Lor Sopheap’s bosses at the factory also put a lot of trust in him.

“Sometimes the owner would give him $200,000 so he could give salaries to workers,” she said. “This means the owner was confident he was an honest person.”

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