A Phnom Penh police officer was arrested on Saturday after fatally shooting a man during an argument at a drinking establishment in Meanchey district.
Stung Meanchey Commune Police Chief Mao Savoeun said San Borey, 38, who is with the Phnom Penh Municipal Police’s minor crimes bureau, was drunk when the fight broke out.
“The victim indirectly criticised him,” Savoeun said. “He said, ‘You come to drink and bring a gun along?’ A quarrel and fight happened. Then the officer shot.”
Bun Satya, chief of the Phnom Penh minor crimes bureau, confirmed that Borey was a low-ranking police official in his department.
Police officers, with the exception of certain high-ranking officials, are forbidden from carrying weapons while off-duty.
“He went to have meal there and he had the gun legally. He had to put the gun at the office after work,” Satya said, before hanging up when asked why Borey had his gun that night.
The victim, 50-year-old Chey Bunthan, was a security guard at Stung Meanchey market, police said. According to Savoeun, the victim was shot three times in the neck, chest and torso, and died at the scene.
As of yesterday afternoon, Borey was being held for further questioning at a police station in Phnom Penh.
Officials are trying to impose stricter gun controls on trigger-happy off-duty cops, but similar incidents are not uncommon.
In August, a police officer shot a pregnant woman during a brawl with the owner of a gambling arcade, allegedly leading to the death of her unborn child. He was later charged with intentional homicide, according to local media.