Chamkar Mon district police officials say the man who accidentally shot a 17-year-old girl Wednesday was not an off-duty police officer.
Rather, he was a civilian somehow involved in the robbery of a mobile phone, according to district Deputy Police Chief Tep Kum, who said the shooter was probably in illegal possession of the gun.
Kheng Thida was walking to sewing class with three friends on Sotheros Boulevard when she was struck in the head by a single bullet and died instantly. Her friends were not injured.
The bullet, according to police and witnesses, was fired by a man riding a motorcycle in pursuit of another motorcycle about 50 meters in front of him ridden by the robbery suspects.
“Witnesses say two men driving a motorbike took the phone from the hip of a man. When that man yelled for help another man driving a motorbike took a gun from his hip to shoot the robbers,” Tep Kum said Friday by telephone.
Tep Kum said police ruled out reports that the shooter was an off-duty police officer trying to stop the robbery and are continuing to investigate the girl’s death.
“We cannot find the shooter, but [he] must be punished because he shot an innocent person,” Tep Kum said.
He said police are trying to find the phone and trace it back to the shop where it was bought in hopes of finding anyone involved in the incident.