Hero saved lives in marine killings

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Hero saved lives in marine killings


Kwon Hyeok

The shooting rampage at a marine base on Ganghwa Island could have taken more lives if it wasn’t for the fast response of Kwon Hyeok, a 20-year-old new recruit.

A corporal surnamed Kim, who says he had been bullied, fatally shot two marines outside a barracks on the base and then entered a sleeping quarters, killing two of the five marines inside.

Kwon woke up to see Kim taking aiming at him. Somehow, he managed to push Kim out of the room, taking four bullets in his legs and groin, military officials said Tuesday.

Kwon then locked the door to the sleeping room, saving two other soldiers. Kim then tried to blow himself up with a hand grenade but survived.

Kwon entered the military on March 21, and before then, was a cinema major at the Dongguk University Computer Science Institute in Seoul. He aspired to become a movie actor, which also led him to apply for the Marines. According to classmates at the university, Kwon felt he needed real-life experiences in order to improve his acting. Classmates and professors said that he was a quiet but friendly person. His interest in photography is evident in the numerous photographs posted on his personal profile page on Cyworld.

After news spread of Kwon’s heroism, tens of thousands of people left grateful messages on his profile page.

“If you don’t lose that courage even after you finish military service, you can do anything,” wrote Ahn Hyo-young, an Internet user, “You are the best Marine in this country.”

“Despite the fear and fright you must have felt,” wrote another user, Kwon Ki-hyun, “you did a great thing. I pray for your quick recovery. Also, after you finish your military service, I hope you succeed in making all your dreams come true.”

Other posters who identified themselves as reserve Marines wrote that they were proud of what Kwon Hyeok did on Monday. “I hope you lead your subordinates well so that they will become Marines like you,” wrote Kim Tae-ho, a former Marine.

Another person who didn’t sign his post said he wanted to send his younger brother into the Marines after reading of Kwon’s heroism.

Many people commented on the journal entry Kwon posted the night before he entered the military.

“I don’t know if I was a son that made you proud,” Kwon wrote to his parents. “It hurts my heart that I, who was never able to say ‘I love you,’ am unable to say I am sorry for things in the past.”

“You have done so much to raise me and keep me healthy,” he said. “When I come back from the Marines, I will be a good son, although it will be less than a thousandth of the love you showed me.”

Kwon hasn’t been able to share the love from the thousands of strangers because he is under treatment for his multiple wounds. He had a second surgery Tuesday.

By Christine Kim [christine.kim@joongang.co.kr]

한글 관련 기사 [CBS노컷]
`신참 해병` 권혁… 이등병이 `큰일` 해냈다

총기 난사 당시 목숨 걸고 김 상병 제지
더 큰 참사 막아내

입대 5개월 차 신참 해병이 `큰일`을 해낸 사실이 뒤늦게 알려져 화제가 되고 있다.

주인공은 지난 4일 있었던 해병대 2사단 총기 난사 사고 당시 총기를 든 김 상병을 제지해 추가 피해를 막은 권혁 이병. 당시 권 이병은 동료 전우들을 향해 난사를 퍼붓던 김 상병에게 달려들어 생활관 밖으로 그를 밀쳐내 사고를 일단락 시켰다.

그 과정에서 권 이병 역시 다리에 총상을 입었고, 바로 어제 다리에 박힌 총알을 제거하는 수술을 받았다.

`신참 해병`의 용감한 해병 정신이 알려지면서 권 이병을 격려하는 글과 댓글이 인터넷에 쇄도하고 있다.

그의 미니홈피에는 "후배님 자랑스럽습니다", "살신성인의 자세로 큰 사고를 막아내셨더군요", "빠른 쾌유를 빌겠습니다" 등 해병대 선후배를 포함한 네티즌들의 격려가 이어지고 있다.

또한 권 이병이 입대 전 자신의 미니홈피에 남긴 글도 전해져 감동을 전하고 있다.

권 이병은 입대를 하루 앞둔 지난 3월 20일 미니홈피에 "누군가를 이기려는 마음은 자신뿐만 아니라 주위 사람들까지 힘들게 하는 것 같다"고 적으며 "오로지 이겨야 할 사람은 자기 자신"이라 하며 군 생활에 대한 포부를 밝혔다.

더불어 "2년 뒤 이 시간에 내가 펼치지 못한 나와의 약속을 하나 둘 꺼내 놓고 있는 모습을 상상한다"고 마무리하며 해병대 생활에 임하는 각오를 다지기도 했다.

한편 이번 총기 난사 사고는 지난 4일 강화 해병대 2사단에서 발생했고 6명의 사상자를 냈다.

희생장병 4명의 합동분향소가 경기도 성남의 국군수도병원 장례식장에 마련된 상태고 권 이병은 수술 이후 국군수도병원 병동에서 치료를 받고 있다.
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