Military police have put out a $5,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest of a man, possibly posing as a military police officer, who is on the run after fatally shooting his girlfriend at a guesthouse on Phnom Penh’s Street 273 early on Saturday morning.
The suspect, who went by the name Oum Sophan, but has not been officially identified, shot 25-year-old clothing vendor Sok Sreyleak in the right eye at about 12:40 a.m. on Saturday in the Sary Thom guesthouse in Russei Keo district, according to a post on the National Military Police Facebook page.
She was pronounced dead upon arrival at Calmette Hospital.
During a brief scuffle with security guards as he was fleeing the guesthouse, Mr. Sophan dropped what appeared to be a military police-issued helmet and ID card bearing the rank of major.
National Military Police Commander Sao Sokha ordered “bureau staff to examine the name and military police uniform [he is wearing in the photo on the ID] to see whether there’s a name in a managerial list,” the post said. A reward of 20 million riel, or about $5,000, is being offered to anybody with information that leads to his arrest, it added.
Military police spokesman Eng Hy said officials had run a check and the ID was not registered in their system.
“We’re still doing the examining. Initially, the name and identification is not enrolled in the military police,” Brigadier General Hy said, adding that they were also unsure how Mr. Sophan obtained a military police uniform.
Brig. Gen. Hy said bullet fragments found in the victim were being examined, which would further help in determining whether the suspect was an actual military police officer.
Thoeun Sopheak, a receptionist at the guesthouse, said the couple only booked a room for 15 minutes and had been arguing when they arrived.
“They asked to rent out a room for 15 minutes,” she said. “Then one of our security guards heard a gunshot. He went to the room and saw the girl bleeding on the bed.”
The security guard alerted another security guard who was downstairs through a walkie-talkie, Mr. Sopheak said, but the second guard was spooked by Mr. Sophan’s gun.
“The other security guard downstairs tried to stop him, but he had a gun, so he was afraid,” he said, adding that they alerted police and took the victim straight to the hospital.
Huy Hean, the Tuol Sangke commune police chief, said the couple had been in a relationship for five or six months.
phearun@cambodiadaily.com
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