A soldier in Oddar Meanchey province was arrested on Tuesday night for shooting his colleague in the torso following an argument during a rowdy drinking session, officials said Thursday.
The shooting occurred at about 7:30 p.m. in Chongkal district’s Chongkal commune after three Royal Cambodian Armed Forces soldiers began quarreling, according to district police chief Boeu Oeul.
“I heard that after the soldiers came back from work, they joined the drinking party in the village,” he said. “They started arguing after three of them got drunk, and that eventually lead to many shots being fired.”
Mr. Oeul said district military police arrested the shooter and
sent the victim to a hospital in Thailand.
Deputy district military police commander Hun Leang Heng identified the suspect as Chhou Thy, 41, and the victim as Chea Sopheaktra, 31, who he said was in critical condition at a hospital in Thailand’s Surin province. He said both were stationed at the district RCAF base.
“The case is now in the military police’s hands because it was a crime among soldiers,” he said, adding that he did not know what provoked the argument.
“Mr. Chhou Thy had multiple shots fired at him, but only one of the bullets hit him, going into his left side and coming out his right side,” he said, adding that the soldiers had been drinking rice wine at the time.
“They were all drunk and were arguing with each other, and it was very easy for a shooting to happen because they were all carrying CKC rifles,” he said.
RCAF provincial chief of staff Net Oeut said Mr. Thy was interrogated at his office Thursday and is being detained at the provincial military police headquarters.
“We are still investigating whether the incident was intentional,” he said. “But if we find he is at fault, he will be punished accordingly.”