Soldier Shoots Up Loud Party; One Dead, One Seriously Injured

Police were searching on Thursday for a soldier who fatally shot a man and seriously injured a woman after his neighbor in Kompong Chhnang province refused to turn down the music at a party.

Seven or eight guests were at the party on Wednesday night at Samakki Meanchey district home next-door to that of Hem Sothea, a soldier aspirant from Brigade 1, district police chief Duong Hong said.

Mr. Sothea was incensed by the loud noise that continued past midnight, and went to ask the host, his neighbor Tol Yann, to quieten down, he said.

“At about 1 a.m., the suspect went to tell the victims, ‘Please don’t talk loudly and lower the music,’ but the victims didn’t agree. After Ms. Yann refused the request, her relative, Om Vea-

sna, threw bricks at Mr. Sothea, hitting him in the head, Mr. Hong said. Five minutes later, Mr. Sothea came back with a rifle and shot Om Veasna and Ms. Yann, he said.

“The suspect ran to get his rifle and shot four times, one shot to a man in his stomach and two shots in the woman’s back,” Mr. Hong said. Ms. Yann was hospitalized at a private facility in Phnom Penh, he added.

Mr. Sothea fled shortly after the shooting as the party guests called the police, he said.

Kandal provincial police reported that Mr. Sothea was seen in the province’s Koh Thom district, but fled before an arrest could be made, Mr. Hong said.

Mr. Hong said he was investigating how Mr. Sothea had obtained a gun, and whether he had taken it from the brigade.

“Normally, a gun can be put in your house when you have a mission. I think this man bought his gun, but I’m not sure how he got it,” he said.

Pol Vuthy, the province’s deputy police chief, said he had also asked Brigade 1 to determine how he obtained the gun.

“At first, they said there were no guns taken from the camp. So we requested they investigate,” he said.

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