Korean community shaken up after 5 fatally shot inside spa


NORCROSS, Ga.,None - Channel 2 Action News has learned more details about the murder-suicide inside a Gwinnett County spa Tuesday night.

Gwinnett police said at least 20 people were at the Su Jung Health Sauna on Buford Highway when shots rang out around 9 p.m. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is also assisting with the investigation.

According to police, surveillance video showed a man walking into the spa and talking to one of the victims before he opened fire.

"It appears this is a murder-suicide. There are five people dead. Four are inside the building. One died later at the hospital," Norcross Police Chief Warren Summers said.

Summers told Channel 2's Kerry Kavanaugh those killed were all owners of the business.

The shooter has been identified as the brother of the women. A family pastor, Fire and the Light Korean Baptist Church's Paul Song Kim, said the family met together before the shooting.

Summers said there was some sort of dispute with the shooter earlier in the day Monday, and he then returned and shot the people inside.  Investigators said they are still trying to determine where in the building the victims were shot. They are also trying to figure out how many rounds were fired.

Kavanaugh said friends and family have been gathering outside the business all day.

"Why, why, why, why these things happen to him. It just killed me right now. Unbelievable," said Andy Kim. Kim said Byung Kang, 65, was a colleague and mentor.

Kim said Kang was pillar of the Korean community in Gwinnett County and among one of the first generations of Korean immigrants to come to the Atlanta area.

"Unlike most of us that just cares about me and my family, he went beyond that," said Travis Kim of the Korean American Association. "I'm more shocked than sad."

Family said the man immigrated to the US in the early '80s and was a Korean war veteran where he served for the South Korea army. The spa owner served on the Korean Chamber of Commerce and was previously on the board of the Atlanta Korean School, family members said.

Friends told Kavanaugh Kang opened the business with his sister, her husband and his wife's brother in 2002. Friends said they had recent financial troubles.

"I know he was having a little bit of difficulty in the past couple of years or so, but I never expect anything like this," said Kim. "I just cannot express my anger and frustration."

A woman who works next door said until Monday night, the spa was a haven for her.

"I'm very saddened. I know some of the ladies personally," Karen Harris said. "I'm terrified to see their pictures. It's going to be sad to see we've lost friends in this community."


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