Suspect Arrested in UMass Amherst Shooting Incident

AMHERST, Mass. - Sokha Chhim, 17, of Amherst Crossing, Amherst, Mass., has been arrested in conjunction with an incident at Cashin Residence Hall at the University of Massachusetts Oct. 30 in which a student suffered a gunshot wound to the neck.

He was arrested on charges of attempted murder, assault with a dangerous weapon (a gun), and armed robbery. John W. Luippold Jr., UMass director of public safety and chief of police, alleges that the motive that led to the shooting was robbery.

Chhim was to be arraigned today in Hampshire District Court, and, Luippold said, the commonwealth would request that bail be set. Luippold credited the hard work of UMass police, especially officer Brian L. Narkewicz. "This was a tough case. It involved a lot of detail work, and a lot of foot work in relation to interviews and gathering various pieces of information," Luippold said.

Luippold commended Narkewicz especially for his close work with the State Police Detectives Unit as the investigation proceeded. Luippold said close cooperation among a number of law enforcement agencies led to today’s arrest, including, besides the Massachusetts State Police, the Amherst and Springfield police departments, and the Northwestern District Attorney’s office.

Luippold also said that the case is not closed, that police are looking to interview other individuals, and that the investigation remains ongoing. The wounded student, 24, an engineering major in his junior year, is in stable condition following surgery for the neck injury. Police continue to withhold his name pending resolution of the case.