An RCAF soldier was arrested Monday night, following a shoot-out in Phnom Penh’s Tonle Bassac commune that left three men injured, including a Sam Rainsy Party security guard and an elite Flying Tiger police officer, Chamkar Mon district police said.
The soldier, Kim Tola, 27, was arrested by municipal military police around midnight Monday, about an hour after the shooting outside an unnamed brothel on Sothearos Boulevard, Chamkar Mon district Deputy Police Chief Teak Kum said.
Police and witnesses at the brothel said the suspect, who was dressed in civilian clothing, appeared to be drunk and started shooting into the air with a K-54 pistol.
Several sex workers and visitors, including the three men—Prum Vicheat, 28, a Sam Rainsy Party security guard; Chan Sakhon, 26, of the Flying Tiger police; and a civilian, Dy Kosal, 29— emerged from the brothel to see what was going on, witnesses said.
The three men argued with the suspect and, after a brief scuffle, they tried to drive away on a motorbike.
The gunman then shot at them, according to a district police report. Chan Sakhon was hit in the left leg and Prum Vicheat in the thigh, the report said. A bullet grazed Dy Kosal in the posterior, wounding him slightly.
“It was chaos,” one sex worker said Tuesday. “I was afraid.”
The brothel owner, known as Ta Hay, said the victims and the suspect are well known in the area. “Both sides are gangsters,” he said. Ta Hay added that he did not believe the victims and suspect knew each other.
He said his customers quickly dispersed after the the incident.
“Last night, the business was not good after the shooting,” Ta Hay said.
Prum Vicheat and Chan Sakhon were recovering in Calmette Hospital Tuesday, Teak Kum said. Kim Tola was in military police custody, he added.
Deputy military Police Chief Sim Hong declined to comment on the case on Tuesday.
In a separate incident, a woman was shot Monday night in front of her house, also in Tonle Bassac commune, Reach Sokhom, Phnom Penh penal police chief, said Tuesday.
Ou Savetey, 36, was shot once in the head by an unknown assailant around 9:30 pm, he said. She was sent to Calmette, but police did not know her condition.
Reach Sokhom said he could not provide any more details about the case.
“The victim’s family did not cooperate with us,” he said.