A US citizen was in stable condition after being shot early Tuesday morning by robbers in the Chamkar Mon District of Phnom Penh.
Bennett Steinmuller, 33, a freelance Web site designer from New York City, was shot once in the abdomen as he returned to his residence on Street 312 at about 12:30 am, police said.
Speaking to reporters Tuesday at the SOS International medical clinic before flying to Bangkok, Steinmuller said the robbery attempt began when two men crashed their motorcycle into the motorcycle taxi he was riding.
One of the men pulled out a handgun and demanded money. Steinmuller handed over his cash, but tried to keep a bag containing his laptop computer. A scuffle ensued. Steinmuller took the pistol from his assailant but was shot in the process.
“We were struggling and I took the gun away from him and they basically ran away,” Steinmuller said. “Then I staggered down the street to my house.”
Teak Kum, Chamkar Mon deputy district police chief, said police are hunting for two men but have no suspects.
US Ambassador Kent Wiedemann, who was robbed at gunpoint in Phnom Penh last year, said the shooting adds to the rising number of foreigners who have been victims of robberies in Cambodia.
He said the robberies do not present a call for the US State Department to issue a warning for visiting US citizens, but the increasing crime rate against foreigners is being monitored.
On Jan 13, an Australian and a Dutch tourist were shot and wounded in a late-night robbery near a guest house in Phnom Penh’s Prampi Makara district.
Although the bullet smashed part of his pelvis, Steinmuller said he wasn’t stunned by the attack.
“I’m from New York City. You can get shot anywhere,” he said.
(Additional reporting by Ana Nov and Gina Chon )