A firefighter attempts suicide after killing 2

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A firefighter attempts suicide after killing 2

A 50-year-old firefighter was arrested on Wednesday after attempting to rob a house to pay back his gambling debts, only to be caught by the two homeowners, who he then murdered before burning their house to cover his tracks.

According to the police in Anseong, Gyeonggi, the firefighter broke into a two-story house located around Dangwang-dong, Anseong, at around 3 p.m. on Aug. 1, where a 64-year-old man and his 57-year-old wife were living.

The firefighter was not listed as a usual suspect by police at the time, but his crimes were revealed when he attempted to commit suicide by drinking herbicide and throwing himself off from the rooftop of an apartment at around 4:50 p.m on Wednesday.

The firefighter’s family called the police that afternoon as they suspected the firefighter would attempt to commit suicide. After drinking herbicide, he sat on the rooftop of a 15-story-apartment and, when police arrived, he lowered himself off the roof and let go.

However, the firefighter survived when he landed on the ledge of the 14th floor. Soon after, he threw himself from the ledge but survived when his foot got stuck on the ledge of the 13th floor, where police were positioned.

The firefighter admitted his crimes to police as he was being transported to a nearby university hospital in South Chungcheong.

“I killed the couple in the house in Anseong,” he said, “I don’t know why I did it.”

With the firefighter’s direction, police were able to find the murder knife near a road about 200 meters (656 feet) from the crime scene. They later confirmed that the blood on the knife was from the victims.

The firefighter later also told police that he broke into the house looking for valuables to pay back his gambling debts. Police are still investigating whether he indeed took part in gambling and how much debt he has.

The firefighter was revealed to be the first caller who reported the house fire, according to police. During initial investigations, police did not find any soot in the respiratory organs of the murdered couple, which indicates they had died before they were burned. Autopsy reports confirm that the victims had their necks slit.

Having ingested herbicide, the firefighter is still in and out of consciousness and police will ask for a detention warrant against him after further investigation.

BY KIM MIN-WOOK [lee.soowhan@joongang.co.kr]
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