Second Suspect Charged Over Club Shooting

Authorities have arrested and charged a second man in a shooting at Phnom Penh’s Rock nightclub Sunday that involved the son of a high-ranking customs official, during which one man was injured.

Run Chanthoeun, 30, was arrested in Phnom Penh on Thursday and charged by the municipal court with aggravated intentional violence, aggravated intentional property damage, and the illegal possession and use of a weapon, said Eng Sorphea, municipal penal police chief.

Run Chanthoeun is escorted from the municipal court Thursday. (Siv Channa/The Cambodia Daily)
Run Chanthoeun is escorted from the municipal court Thursday. (Siv Channa/The Cambodia Daily)

“We sent him to Prey Sar prison after the judge charged him,” he said.

Mr. Sorphea said Mr. Chanthoeun had confessed to being the shooter in the incident, which occurred in the early hours of Sunday, and identified him as a friend of Keo Vitou, 24, the son of Keo Sokheang, head of the customs department’s mobile inspection unit. Mr. Vitou was charged with the same crimes as Mr. Chanthoeun on Tuesday.

A Lexus SUV and an AK-47 were confiscated from Mr. Sokheang’s home the day of the shooting.

Outside the courtroom Thursday, Mr. Chanthoeun said he went to the nightclub at about 2 a.m. on Sunday after a friend who was drinking with Mr. Vitou called him and asked him to join the party.

He said he arrived at Rock to find Mr. Vitou and his group of friends in the midst of a heated argument with another group, whose members then began to chase and threaten them.

“I did not know what problem Vitou and the other group were having, as when I arrived the argument had happened already,” he said.

“We all just wanted to protect ourselves and had no bad intentions toward them,” he added.

“We knew firing was wrong, but we protected ourselves. If we didn’t shoot, they would have shot and killed us.”

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