A soldier shot and killed his wife and that of another soldier on Monday before fleeing to a forest on foot and eventually killing himself in a standoff with the military.
The crime took place at Intervention Brigade 4’s compound in Beng commune, Banteay Ampil district, Oddar Meanchey province.
District police chief Khul Phin identified the soldier as 55-year-old Soeun Kan and his deceased wife as 50-year-old Nget Ren. The second victim was 30-year-old Lach Taingsmak.
Kan belonged to Battalion 243 of Intervention Brigade 4.
“The soldier fatally shot himself because he refused to surrender himself to the unit,” Phin said.
According to witnesses, Kan fled to a wooden house about 50m away after murdering Ren and Taingsmak.
While hiding in the house, Kan held a 70-year-old woman and her four to five grandchildren as hostages.
When Kan entered a different room of the house, the woman escaped with her grandchildren and reported the incident to the police.
Phin said after receiving the report, soldiers from Battalion 243 surrounded the house, called Kan and demanded his surrender.
Kan allegedly replied: “Don’t come in, I don’t care about the young children, or the old lady, if you dare try to get in, I will kill them all.”
Kan was unaware that the woman and her grandchildren had escaped the house.
At around 7pm, soldiers broke into the house only to find Kan missing. They then searched the nearby forest.
The search for Kan continued until 1pm on Tuesday. After finding his footprints, Kan who was nearby started firing his weapon at the soldiers.
The soldiers attempted to persuade him to surrender, but he allegedly shouted: “I will not give myself up” and fatally shot himself.
Beng commune police chief Chhoeung Chbab said on Tuesday that a Brigade 243 report said Kan had driven Ren to Taingsmak’s home on Monday.
According to the report, Kan could be heard arguing with Ren, and a few moments later two gunshots were heard.
Chbab said at the scene of the accident, two women were found dead and covered in blood not far from each other. Both victims had been shot in the chest.