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Gangseo-gu PC room homicide evokes strong criticism
  • By Jeong Seung-in, reporter
  • 승인 2018.11.09 11:55
  • 호수 256
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▲ Kim Sung - soo, killed an employee by stabbing him 32 times concentrating on the victim’s neck and face.

On October 14, one of the users of the PC room in Gangseo-gu, Seoul, killed a staff member after a quarrel outside the corridors of the PC room. Kim Sung-soo killed the employee by stabbing him 32 times concentrating on the victim’s neck and face. Because the victim was cruelly slashed to death, the victim’s face and neck were so severely damaged that the doctor even recommended the bereaved not to see the body. The assailant’s motive was said to be inhospitable attitude of the PC room staff. However, the CCTV confirmed that the staff's unfriendliness was nowhere to be seen. The assailant entered the PC room with his brother and pointed out to his staff that his seat was dirty. The employee immediately apologized and cleaned his seat. After the assailant lost his game, he suddenly demanded the employee a refund, but the employee said he did not have the authority to do so. The perpetrator threatened to stab him if he did not receive a refund. After some struggle, the employee reported the police. After the police arrived, they made Kim Sung-soo and his brother leave, not knowing that they would come back with a knife they brought from their house. After the police left the scene, the staff left the PC room briefly to discard some trash, and the assailant stabbed the employee 32 times. The perpetrator's brother was also engaged in the crime by grabbing the employee's body while his older brother stabbed the victim. But the assailant's brother made a statement that he did not know that his older brother brought a knife from his house and that he only grabbed the victim to stop them from fighting. The employee was transferred to the hospital, but eventually died from excessive bleeding.
This can be seen as a mere homicide, but is actually a complicated incident that must be inspected minutely. One of the reasons why this case is drawing so much attention is that no matter how brutal the crime is, if the assailant is judged to be in a vulnerable metal condition such as mental weakness, depression, or drinking, his sentence will be significantly reduced. Likewise, when Kim Sung-soo‘s mental illness diagnosis was announced , the public expressed anger and opposed it. People strongly argue that the punishment shouldn’t be unconditionally lessened in the case of mental illness. Since certain mental illnesses such as depression do not necessarily lead to crime, these mental illnesses should not be an exoneration for criminals. For this reason, crimes committed by the mentally ill should be judged more strictly to stop criminals from abusing the diagnosis. In extreme cases, the perpetrator might be prescribed depression medication intentionally before the crime. It may also be necessary to reevaluate penalties in cases of mental weakness.
The incompetence and irresponsibility of the police also caused controversy after this case. When the police arrived at the scene of the incident, they said that arresting the suspect wasn’t necessary. Despite the fact that the victim told the police officer that there was a threat of murder, the police talked to the perpetrators for a while and let them go with only a warning. If the police had stayed at the scene for a bit longer, the results of the tragic homicide might have been different. However, because of the lackadaisical thinking of the police, a 21 year-old man died. There are many incidents in this country that could have been prevented if only the police treated them genuinely. The case will also be needed to be inspected thoroughly to see whether the policemen’s duty for early detection and early response was fulfilled. If not, the police officers should bear the blame for some part of the incident.
These sudden crimes can happen anywhere at anytime to anyone. The government should seek ways to reduce such crimes, and appropriate punishments for these crimes are surely required.

By Jeong Seung-in, reporter

By Jeong Seung-in, reporter  samcandothat@naver.com

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