US Tourist Survives Self-Inflicted Gunshot to Head

A tourist from the US who shot himself in the head with a handgun Tuesday at a popular shooting range in Kandal province’s Ang Snuol district is in stable condition, police and a doctor said.

Cody Mark Patrick, 33, fired seven of 10 bullets he purchased at the Kambol commune shooting range before shooting the eighth bullet through the right side of his jaw, said Interior Ministry penal police Chief Mok Chito on Wednesday.

The bullet exited through the back of the man’s head, but did not kill him, Mok Chito said.

“He was a lucky man to still be alive,” he said, adding that the man is being treated at Calmette Hospital.

Police found drugs during a search of the man’s Phnom Penh hotel room, Mok Chito said; he did not say what drugs were found.

“Patrick was a drug user, but we do not know why he tried to commit suicide,” he said, adding that the US embassy is providing assistance.

An employee at the range identifying himself as Mao, said the establishment was “very sorry,” and referred questions to district police.

In 2004, a 25-year-old American committed suicide at the same shooting range, located on the military base housing the elite 911 paratrooper unit, by shooting himself in the head with a handgun.

Speaking on condition of ano­nymity, a doctor at Calmette Hos­pital said as of Wednesday morning, the man is in stable condition and would most likely survive.

US embassy spokesman Jeff Daigle declined to comment.

Minister of Tourism Thong Khon said the incident was regrettable but would not damage the country’s growing tourism sector.

“If he shot himself, it will not affect our tourists,” he said.

            (Additional reporting by James Welsh)

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