Chok Kimchin, 43, police chief of Chamna Krom, turned himself in to provincial police on Sunday night and confessed to a shooting spree that ended in the death of his only son, because “he was jealous and drunk”, police officials said yesterday.
He will be sent to court to be charged today.
Kimchin’s wife, Heu Sophoeun, 32, was shot in the leg and stomach and his five-year-old daughter, Chok Chenda, was shot in the back.
Both are being treated in Siem Reap hospitals and appear to be recovering well, according to officials.
In Kampong Thom yesterday, family members held a funeral for 14-year-old Chok Socheat, who died instantly when a bullet pierced his heart.
Kimchin had a history of violence, Ke Khannara, Kampong Thom deputy police chief in charge of penal crimes, said, and frequently flew into rages over perceived indiscretions by his wife.
“The suspect said his family always had disputes, because his wife did not fulfil the role of housewife to look after the family. The suspect also said negative points of his wife made him open fire,” Khannara said.
According to Khannara, Kimchin complained that his wife was unable to manage their children and said he had grown jealous over phone conversations he suspected his wife of holding with another man.
Frequently, that jealousy spilled into fury, a number of officials confirmed yesterday.
“When [Kimchin] was drunk, he always quarrelled with his wife,” Chamna Krom commune chief Khom Thy said.
On numerous occasions, too many to count, Thy said he found himself intervening in domestic disputes.
“Even though I educated him and reported his actions to his district police chief, and even though there was education from the police chief, it was difficult when he drank alcohol.”
Kimchin was verbally abusive, and on occasion his actions grew physical, though never severe, several police and commune officials said, and the wife never filed a police complaint.
Kimchin, unimpeachable as a police official, had received accolades for his work, deputy Stoung district police chief Vorn Sophorn said.
“I noticed the work of the commune police chief as a good officer serving the people, but he was not able to manage his family disputes.
“[When there was] a family dispute, we always educated and instructed him, because we know the law. It’s a sorrow for this to have happened.”
But given Kimchin’s history of domestic violence, some questioned whether the case did have to happen.
“The problem is that when there is violence against women and children and they seek help from authority, the authority is not interested in finding measures to prevent it happening,” Lim Mony, deputy head of the women’s section of the rights group Adhoc, said.
“They [do nothing] until there is a big risk of legal action.”
To contact the reporter on this story: Kim Yuthana at email@example.com