Gun training stopped at shooting spree scene

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Gun training stopped at shooting spree scene

After a fatal shooting spree during a reserve forces training in Seoul, the military authority suspended shooting training at the center on Friday.

In a rampage Wednesday, a reservist surnamed Choi killed two trainees and severely injured two others before fatally turning the gun on himself. The men were in a three-day reserve forces training from Tuesday to Thursday.

“We have provisionally suspended shooting training sessions at the 210th Regiment’s reserve forces training center,” said an official of the National Defense Ministry on Friday. “Other sessions of the training will be carried out as scheduled.”

Instead of shooting training, reservists will take part in simulated shooting sessions or safety education, the official explained.

“The provisional shutdown will go on until we come up with appropriate safety measures,” he added.

Other reserve forces training centers, however, will keep running their shooting sessions, and the ministry decided to strengthen safety measures at those facilities by placing more instructors in firing ranges.

“At other centers, we decided that there will be one instructor for each trainee,” the official continued.

Current regulations say that a 20-lane firing range, like the one where the spree occurred this week, requires a central controlling officer, two additional officers and several instructors. Each instructor, who is tasked with distributing magazines, has to cover two to three reservists at a time.

On Friday, there was a send-off ceremony for one of the victims of the spree, surnamed Park, who died after being shot in the head. Choi’s family did not hold a funeral for him and cremated his body.

BY JEONG YONG-SOO [kim.bongmoon@joongang.co.kr]

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