A well-connected Cambodian police officer fatally shot his wife and then himself on Sunday night, August 27.
According to the report by the National Police Khieu Kounel, 34, shot his wife, Yeng Leakhana, 37, in the head inside their Meanchey district, Phnom Penh home before turning the gun on himself.
The report said a handgun and two bullet casings were found at the scene and that relatives claimed the couple’s relationship was marred by jealousy.
Song Ly, deputy commissioner of the Phnom Penh Municipal Police, said that authorities believe the motive was marital strife, but are investigating whether other motives may have been at play.
“We have not been able to come to a clear conclusion,” Ly said. “We are launching a deeper investigation. We will try our best to figure it out.”
Family members of Khieu and Leakhena held separate funerals yesterday. Many expressed shock about the deaths but declined to speak further.
The couple, who got married around three months ago, often posted loving photos and messages about each other on their social media pages.
Kola, Konel’s father, declined to comment beyond saying that his family was suffering badly.
“I lost my only son and one of [the government’s] top officials,” he said.
Sopheak, the ministry spokesman, said that he was saddened by his nephew’s death and confirmed that police were investigating. Sopheak will preside over the cremation of Khieu’s body at Wat Srah Chak on Wednesday.
Ly said police had yet to locate any witnesses, but a man who identified himself as Leakhena’s younger brother said his aunt was in the couple’s home at the time of the shooting, and overheard the couple arguing briefly before she heard shots ring out.
In a statement, Konel’s sister asked reporters to let police investigate before jumping to conclusions.
“I love him so much,” Khieu Sansana wrote. “And I don’t know how I will cope with this. RIP my dearest brother.”
More photos below…