Three Injured After Hit, Run, Shoot Traffic Incident in Phnom Penh

Three men were injured on Wednesday night when a Highlander SUV smashed into a motorbike in Phnom Penh’s Chamkar Mon district and was then chased by an apparent vigilante in a Lexus, who opened fire on the Highlander and wounded the driver before fleeing, police said Thursday.

Shortly before midnight, a motorbike carrying a Bayon TV reporter and an unknown man was struck by the Highlander in Tuol Svay Prey I commune. Both men were thrown to the ground in the collision, but the motorbike became entangled in the underbelly of the Highlander and was dragged across the city to Tuol Kok district, according to Cheav Hak, Phnom Penh traffic police chief.

“The suspect was driving very fast, but he was not drunk,” Mr. Hak said. “They attempted to hit-and-run, but they dragged the victim’s motorbike all the way to Phsar Depot I commune in Tuol Kok.”

The witness-cum-vigilante, who was driving a Lexus SUV, gave chase to the Highlander and discharged two rounds—one in the air and one through the driver’s side door, which lodged in the driver’s leg—before pulling across the front of the Highlander and bringing it to a halt near Phsar Depot market.

The driver of the Highlander then phoned a friend, Mr. Hak said, who arrived at the scene soon after and bundled the suspect into a car and drove away.

The mysterious driver of the Lexus, Mr. Hak said, left the scene soon after bringing the Highlander to a halt. He did not step out of his car, and his identity remains unknown.

Mr. Hak added that the Highlander was later impounded by Phnom Penh municipal police but could not confirm if any arrests had been made because he was en route to his homeland to celebrate Chinese New Year.

Sdoeung Sarith, Phsar Depot I police chief, also said he was unaware if any arrests had been made.

Huot Kheang Veng, deputy director-general at Bayon TV, confirmed that one of his employees had been injured in the hit-and-run, but declined to give his full name.

“Sokha is an intern reporter at Bayon TV and he has head injuries that are not serious,” Mr. Kheang Veng said.

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