Soldier Charged in P Sihanouk Guesthouse Shooting

An RCAF soldier was charged and jailed in Preah Sihanouk pro­vince on Saturday after allegedly shooting a guesthouse customer who fired a gun eight times, officials said Sunday.

The incident marked the second shooting at Chiva’s Shack guesthouse on O’Chheuteal Beach in less than a year.

Major Ouk Chiva, the 23-year-old guesthouse owner, was detained at Preah Sihanouk Provincial Prison Sunday, provincial military police chief Va Chanthorn said, before declining to provide further details.

Deputy provincial prosecutor Ream Chanmony confirmed that Maj Chiva had been questioned at the court Sunday, but declined to reveal the charges against him.

Preah Sihanouk City police chief Mann Tour Sunday identified the victim of the shooting as Ly Vann­khoeurn, the driver for the chief of Preah Sihanouk provincial council, Sou Chunghou.

Mr Tour said that Mr Vann­kho­eurn, who he claimed was drunk, had attempted to enter the guesthouse with a handgun at about 3:20 am but agreed to leave his weapon at the door when he was stopped by security guards. Mr Vannkhoeurn walked into the guesthouse but returned and took his gun from the security guards, Mr Tour claimed.

“The driver [then] shot eight bullets but nobody had any injuries,” Mr Tour said, adding that the bullets were fired into the front door, wall and floor of the club, as well as in the air.

Mr Tour said Maj Chiva, an officer from the 70th Infantry Brigade, came out of the club immediately and shot twice at Mr Vannkhoeurn, hitting him once in the left side of his body.

Mr Tour added that Maj Chiva was arrested immediately after the shooting, while Mr Vannkhoeurn was sent to Calmette Hospital in Phnom Penh, where he is believed to be in a stable condition.

In November, a tourist police officer and a foreigner were shot by an unknown gunman over what police said was a business rivalry gone too far.

The tourist police officer was shot through the hip, while an Irish national was shot in the right shoulder before the gunman escaped on motorcycle. The victims survived the shooting, but no arrests were made.


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