A Kandal province police officer was arrested yesterday for allegedly shooting three fishermen in Sa’ang district, leaving one dead and another victim seriously injured.
According to the district police chief and rights group Adhoc, the incident occurred yesterday morning when the officer attempted to stop the three fishermen from using illegal nets on Boeung Ta Nhov lake in Kraing Yov commune.
Men Makara, provincial coordinator with Adhoc, said the suspect allegedly sought bribe money from the fishermen, who refused to pay.
The officer then allegedly shot San Seng, 37, who died from wounds to his chest. Yong Sokheang, 27, is being treated in hospital for serious injuries from a gunshot wound to the knee.
[The officer] should not have shot them, even if they did wrong
A third victim, 37-year-old Pheng Neth, was shot in the arm, but his injuries were not considered serious. By yesterday afternoon, the 40-year-old suspect was arrested by district police.
Sa’ang district Police Chief Meang Pich said the suspect was being detained at district police offices ahead of his transfer to provincial police headquarters for interrogation.
“We accused him of murder and he’s the only perpetrator in the shooting,” said Meang Pich. He added that another officer was present during the incident, but wasn’t arrested because he didn’t shoot the villagers.
Men Makara said Yong Sokheang was initially sent to a provincial hospital, but was transferred to Preah Kossomak Hospital in Phnom Penh due to the severity of his injuries. Pheng Neth was treated and later released from hospital.
Lun Leang, Kraing Yov commune chief, confirmed that the victims were fishing on the lake, using illegal magnetic nets, to support their families.
“[The officer] should not have shot them, even if they did wrong,” said Lun Leang.
Khorm Sarim, a relative to Yong Sokheang, said the victim’s family had started borrowing money from friends to pay for medical costs.