Vietnam cops dismissed over fatal shooting at police station

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Police in the southeastern province of Dong Nai have dismissed the leaders of a traffic police unit involved in a scandal where one police officer shot dead his boss one month ago.


Lieutenant-colonel Pham Hong Minh, head of the traffic police station in Suoi Tre Commune, Long Khanh Town, was removed from his post and transferred to do another job, while lieutenant-colonel Nguyen Van Sinh, Minh's deputy, was superannuated.


Other officers involved in the case have also been punished depending on the level of their involvement, the Dong Nai Police Department said without elaborating.


The Suoi Tre station's former Captain Ngo Van Vinh, 38, was arrested on September 27 at Dong Nai General Hospital's Neurological Surgery Department, where he was being treated.


He was placed in detention for four months while being investigated on charges of "murder under provocation."


Dong Nai investigators and prosecutors said on September 22,  Vinh had shot Major Tran Ngoc Son, deputy head of the station, in the back with a pistol.


Senior Lieutenant Doan Thanh Phu was also shot when he tried to intervene.


Son, Phu and Vinh -- who was also injured in the melee -- were all rushed to the Long Khanh General Hospital, where Son died at 7:40 p.m.

Phu and Vinh were transferred to the Dong Nai General Hospital for further treatment.


Doctors said Phu had been shot once in his buttocks and once in the groin, while Son had been shot in the midsection and suffered an aortic rupture.


Vinh also had an injury on his head, which was possibly grazed by a bullet, and suffered other injuries.


Before the incident, Vinh had been drinking at the Han Linh karaoke parlor in Long Khanh Town and knew that Son was in the adjacent room with a man named Truc, according to a parlor employee.

When Vinh decided to join them, an argument ensured between him and Truc, following which the former returned to the police station.


When Son arrived at the station, he and Vinh had an argument and got into a fight, a source told Thanh Nien.


The source said the fight occurred because Vinh was angry that Son took Truc's side in the initial argument and did not intervene when that latter attacked him physically, the source said.


Before his arrest, the Dong Nai Police Department had suspended Vinh from his post and stripped him off his military rank.


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