Mondulkiri provincial police will send a 47-year-old woman to court on Tuesday and are on a manhunt for her husband after a couple was shot dead in Rovak village, in Koh Nhek district’s Royor commune on Saturday.
Provincial deputy police chief So Sovan said on Sunday that the female suspect was arrested on Saturday but her 49-year-old husband escaped.
Sovan said the two couples had been involved in an ongoing land dispute. “This is a revenge case arising from a land dispute. I haven’t got detailed information because the woman has only just been arrested and I haven’t questioned her yet.
“I can tell you that we believe the suspects used a rifle in the shooting,” he said.
Koh Nhek district police chief Khlout Sophea said one of the victims was a 37-year-old man named Ra, who was also known as Mao.
Sophea said Ra was killed instantly when he was shot through the lower left side of his chest with the bullet exiting through his right armpit.
Ra’s wife An Ol, 34, was shot twice in the lower left back, he said, with both bullets exiting near her left breast. She died while her relatives were rushing her to Mondulkiri Provincial Hospital.
The couple is survived by two young daughters and an eight-year-old son.
Sophea said a witness had reported that the two families lived opposite each other and often argued about a land dispute.
The witness said that on Saturday, the victims’ family was singing karaoke and the suspects became angry at the noise.
An argument erupted, the witness told the police, which became increasingly hostile until the gunshots were heard.
Police said the bullets found at the scene were real, not home-made.
“We haven’t found the weapon yet because the female suspect has refused to reveal its location. But she claimed that it was she who shot the victims, not her husband,” Sophea said.
He said the suspects are farmers, but villagers had told the police that the male suspect had told some people that he used to be a Khmer Rouge soldier.
Sovan said the suspect would be sent to court on Tuesday.