The 20-year-old son of a senior Kratie provincial police officer allegedly walked into his high school on Friday and shot a rival student, seriously wounding the young man, police said Friday.
Khou Sovandeth, the son of provincial police finance bureau chief Khou Sary, shot Srun Sorphal, 20, around 8 am in the courtyard of Queen Preah Kossamak High School in Kratie town, acting Kratie district police chief Men Bunthoeun said. One shot fired from a revolver pierced the victim’s left calf. The victim is recovering in Kratie Municipal Referral Hospital.
“They had a grudge against each other for many years,” Men Bunthoeun said, adding that the victim is enrolled in grade 12, while the gunman is in grade 11.
“They had been in a fight one time before…they just could not look each other in the face.”
He said that Khou Sary, the shooter’s father, was on a mission in Phnom Penh and Khou Sovandeth is now at large.
“He already escaped, our forces are hunting him,” Men Bunthoeun said. “We can’t promise that we will be able to make the arrest.”
Cambodian Center for Human Rights Coordinator Chuon Socheath said that witnesses told him they saw Khou Sovandeth flee Kratie south on National Route 7 toward Kompong Cham province. He said that witnesses also said they recognized the revolver as belonging to officer Khou Sary.
“It is the fault of the father, who has the primary responsibility,” he said.
Acting provincial police chief Bou Phal said the case is still under investigation and that teachers at the school have told police that they did not recognize the face of the shooter.
“We don’t know if the pistol belongs to the father who is also a police officer,” he added.
He said that students went back to class after the incident and the gunman had fled the scene.