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Net tightens in hunt for officer’s murderer

kampot photo supplied
People gather around the body of Ou Chorn, who was commander of the Chhouk district military police in Kampot province. He was shot dead on Thursday night. Photograph: Supplied

Police in Kampot province say they have identified the shooter and getaway driver involved in the slaying of military police commander Ou Chorn, who was shot dead last week while sitting in his car.

“We have already identified two [male] suspects in the shooting of Major Ou Chorn.

“Our police are working hard and searching for them in order to bring them to justice,” Colonel Seak Ang, deputy commander of the Kampot provincial military police, told the Post yesterday. He said he would not release their names for fear of jeopardising the investigation.

Chorn, 44, the Chhouk district military police commander for the past decade, is thought to have stepped into his Toyota 4Runner about 7pm on Thursday in Satpoang village when a man hopped off a motorbike and pumped six bullets into the driver’s side of the vehicle.

Police said five of the bullets had hit Chorn on different parts of the body. When motorbike taxi driver Ly Kheang tried to intervene and help Chorn, the gunman redirected his wrath and beat him. He was sent to hospital in Takeo and released the same day.

After the attack, the shooter climbed back on the bike, whose waiting driver sped away, leaving Chorn to die in the front seat of his car.

“According to our investigation, this is a case of a feud [between Chorn and his attackers] and we are now pursuing it,” Ang said, declining to provide further details.  

But a description of Chorn belies the idea someone held a grudge against him. He was, according to Prum Veasna, the chief of Chhouk district police, friendly, capable and experienced. He said Chorn had no disputes with anyone in the district as far as he knew.

Chorn’s family members could not be reached, but police said they held a funeral ceremony for their relative at his birthplace in Kampong Cham province on Saturday.

To contact the reporter on this story: Buth Reaksmey Kongkea at reaksmeykongkea.buth@phnompenhpost.com

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