Neighbors murdered by man angry about noise

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Neighbors murdered by man angry about noise

Thin walls and a crowded apartment proved fatal for a pair of siblings who were murdered “for being too loud” in a building in Myeonmok-dong, northeastern Seoul, by a neighbor on Saturday.

A 45-year-old man surnamed Kim who was visiting his girlfriend, a sixth-floor resident of the apartment building in Jungnang District, fatally stabbed two brothers at about 5:40 p.m. a day ahead of the Lunar New Year.

The brothers, 33 and 31 years old and also surnamed Kim, were visiting their elderly parents’ seventh-floor home. The older brother visited with his wife and 3-year-old daughter while the younger newlywed was accompanied by his wife.

Kim’s girlfriend, 49-year-old Park, first called the Kim brothers’ family, who lived directly above, about the noise level and loud footsteps. Kim and Park then marched upstairs to face the brothers, Park told police, leading to a squabble in the hallway.

As their altercation grew more heated, assailant Kim suggested that they take the argument outside so as to not disturb neighbors and have a “man-to-man” talk.

When the brothers appeared downstairs, Kim took them by surprise and stabbed the older brother with a knife multiple times in the face, back and side. The younger brother tried to run away before tripping over a flower bed and was stabbed multiple times.

A security guard discovered the bloody bodies of the Kim brothers lying in the snow-covered flower bed outside the building. They were pronounced dead upon arrival at the hospital.

The alleged murderer immediately fled after the stabbings and is being pursued by police.

“Because this is an old apartment built around 14 years ago, there have always been problems with sound traveling between floors,” a security guard at the apartment building told the JoongAng Ilbo. “Each week, there are several complaints regarding the noise level received by the security office.”

As more people gather into cramped spaces during holidays, noise complains rise.

According to the Ministry of Environment, there were 1,829 complaints lodged with its consultation center about noise traveling between floors from March to December last year.



By Sarah Kim [sarahkim@joongang.co.kr]

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