Four marines killed in shooting spree on base

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Four marines killed in shooting spree on base

Four marines were killed and one other was injured when a 19-year-old marine corporal went on a shooting spree yesterday at a marine unit on Ganghwa Island, west of Seoul.

Those killed were Sgt. Lee Seung-hoon, 25; Cpl. Lee Seung-ryeol, 20; Cpl. Park Chi-hyun, 21, and Lance Cpl. Kwon Seung-hyuk, 20, said Marine Corps Col. Kim Tae-eun. The injured marine was identified as Pvt. Kwon Hyuk, 19.

The shooter, identified by his surname Kim, was injured in a separate grenade explosion.

The shooting occurred at about 11:50 a.m. yesterday at a base on the southern part of the island, which is near the border with North Korea.

“Three marines had initially been killed but one more marine died on the way to the hospital,” said Colonel Kim.

Private Kim, the shooter, and Corporal Kwon, were taken to the Armed Forces Medical Command in Seongnam, Gyeonggi, where they were receiving treatment. The two marines’ injuries were not considered life-threatening.

As of yesterday afternoon, the military could not confirm the exact circumstances under which the shooting occurred, although initial reports indicated that Kim fired a K-2 rifle inside a building on the base. Kim then went outside in an attempt to kill himself with a grenade, reports said. The military did not confirm the reports.

“Kim is conscious and looks to be out of danger,” Colonel Kim said yesterday.

Colonel Kim did not confirm whether Corporal Kim had received special attention for previous behavior on the base, which housed about 30 marines, or what activities the marines on the base were engaged in at the time.

The military was also unable to confirm how many rounds Kim fired, saying only that the investigation was ongoing. All live rounds and weapons are to be in storage when not in use, said the military official.

“We will get to the bottom of this incident as soon as possible, as well as extend efforts to prevent such events from happening again,” said Colonel Kim. “We will also do our best to revive the spirit of our soldiers.”

This is the latest military shooting to occur following a string of shooting incidents on bases near the military demarcation line. On June 29, a shooting accident occurred at a surveillance post in Cheorwon, Gangwon, in which a 20-year-old soldier surnamed Park was killed. A day later, a soldier surnamed Choi killed himself with a K-2 rifle while standing guard in Hwacheon, Gangwon. In another high-profile incident in June 2005, a private tossed a hand grenade into a barracks and then opened fire on the soldiers, killing eight. According to Yonhap News Agency, the private acted in anger toward superiors. He was later sentenced to death, Yonhap said.

By Christine Kim []

한글 관련 기사 [연합]
"해병대 김 상병, 일반 관심사병으로 분류"
개인사물함 발견 메모장에 '문제아, 내가 싫다'
4일 해병대 2사단의 강화군 해안 소초에서 K-2 소총을 난사한 김모 상병(19)은 부대에서 일반 관심사병으로 분류된 것으로 알려졌다.

군 관계자는 5일 "김 상병이 부대에서 일반 관심사병으로 분류되어 있으며 사건 당일 아침에도 소대장과 면담을 했다"면서 "부대원들과 관계가 원만하지 못한 것 같다"고 밝혔다.

일반 관심사병은 입대 전 인성검사에서 위험도가 높게 나오거나 부대 생활을 하면서 제대로 적응하지 못한 병사들이다.

이 관계자는 "김 상병은 가장 먼저 총에 맞은 권승혁 일병(20)이 나이가 많다는 이유로 자신에게 공손하게 대하지 않는다고 판단하고 잦은 마찰을 빚은 것으로 안다"고 말했다.

김 상병의 개인사물함에서 발견된 메모장에 "내가 싫다. 문제아다. 나를 바꾸려고 하는 사람이 한두 명이 아니다"면서 "학교에서 선생님에게 반항했던 사회성격이 군대에서 똑같이 나오는 것 같다. 선임들이 말하면 나쁜 표정 짓고 욕하는 내가 싫다"라는 식의 글이 적혀 있었다고 이 관계자는 전했다.

김 상병이 K-2 소총을 발사할 당시 내무반에는 8명이 있었고 이 가운데 권 일병과 박치현 상병(21)이 총에 맞아 사망하고 부상한 권혁 이병이 김 상병을 제지한 것으로 알려졌다.

사망한 이승훈 하사(25)는 부소초장실에서, 이승렬 상병(20)은 내무반 밖 전화부스 인근에서 뛰어나오다 총에 맞은 것으로 전해졌다.

군 관계자는 "김 상병이 작심하고 특정 인물을 지정해 발사한 것 같다"고 말했다.

김 상병은 국군대전병원에서 진술을 거부하면서 난동을 부려 진정제와 수면제 등을 맞고 잠을 자고 있어 직접 대면 조사는 하지 못한 것으로 전해졌다.

해병대는 이날 오전 중으로 전날 이뤄진 조사내용을 발표하는 방안을 추진 중이다.
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