A well-known troublemaker who recently became a police officer in Preah Sihanouk province’s Prey Nop district is now at large after drunkenly shooting up a wedding party with an AK-47 assault rifle, district police said yesterday.
“He escaped after firing a gun to disturb a wedding party on Saturday night in Veal Rinh commune,” district police chief Neang Nang said. “Our police did not dare to arrest the gunman, but his parents agreed to pay compensation to the people holding the wedding party,” he said.
Although nobody was injured in the gunfire, the wedding was thrown into chaos as the young man sprayed the wedding festivities with gunfire for no reason, Mr Nang said.
“The groom and bride and their guests ran and laid on the ground to escape from the bullets,” he said.
The at-large gunman, Try Phal Narin, 24, became a district police officer very recently and has not yet begun training at the police academy, Mr Nang assured.
The young man, however, is better known to locals as the unruly son of a wealthy landowner in the district, and he has long been a disruptive force in his home village, said residents of the area who endured the ordeal on Saturday night.
“[The villagers] are angry at his action to disturb the wedding party, and they rose up to ask why the police and military police dare not arrest him,” said Reach Sina, a guest at the wedding party.
“He [the gunman] went with his friends to create a problem first with the four policemen who were helping to guard the wedding party. Then he went over to the house with his AK-47,” Mr Sina said.
“I used to be a soldier for many years in the civil war, but I have never seen a guy do such a rude action like that,” he added of the young policeman.
Deputy Preah Sihanouk provincial police chief Yin Bunnath said yesterday that the gunman’s behavior was not acceptable in the police force.
“I ordered my colleagues to seek this guy’s arrest to reeducate and punish him by police disciplinary rules,” he said.
Traditionally, such police “disciplinary” measures do not involve the courts or any type of legal sanction under the law.