Casino worker killed in scuffle

Monday 4th May 2020

A casino worker, Heang Sokhunra, was hit twice by shots fired in self-defence by an anti-drug police officer Him Sokhna on Sunday morning. Sokhunra died on the way to the hospital.

The incident followed a street fight involving some 15 people in Poipet town's Phsar Kandal commune in Banteay Meanchey province.

Sokhna suffered serious injuries when he was attacked and is being treated at a hospital.

Relating the incident, Phsar Kandal commune police chief Proem Sophal told The Post that Sokhna came across over 10 boys armed with knives and swords chasing a group of five boys and girls on Sunday morning.

Sophal said shortly after that, a 17-year-old girl fell off her motorcycle and Sokhna arrived to help her.

As he was assisting the girl, Sophal said the group of boys chased after and threatened him with their weapons. Sokhna fired warning shots into the air and onto the ground when the attackers would not back off.

During the fracas, Sokhurna was hit by two bullets, which Sophal said ricocheted off the ground. He died on the way to the hospital.

Koh Santepheap Daily quoted Sokhna at a hospital on Sunday. He said he was riding his motorcycle home when he came across the brawl and saw the girl fall off her motorcycle.

Sokhna said he parked his bike, lifted the girl and prepared to take her home.

He said 10 armed suspects on six motorcycles started chasing him and when they wouldn't desist, he pulled his gun and fired.

At first, he said he fired into the air but when the attackers persisted, he was forced to shoot again on the ground in the hope the assailants would back off. However, the shots struck Sokhunra twice.

"We have arrested one of over 10 boys and we questioned a bystander as well. The boys hacked Sokhna on the hands, chest, head, back and legs, leaving him injured seriously.

"The boy who was hit by two bullets died on the way to a hospital. We will continue investigating this case to detain the boys involved for further questioning," Sophal said.

Poipet town police chief Thin Sindeth could not be reached for comment on Sunday but his deputy Chan Sophy said police were on the lookout for the suspects.

"They were searching for [the boys]. I don't know the full account of the story yet," he said.

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