Asia South Korea hit by second fatal shooting in three days

South Korea hit by second fatal shooting in three days

South Korean police officers investigate the scene of an incident in Hwaseong, South Korea on Feb. 27, 2015
South Korean police officers investigate the scene of an incident in Hwaseong, South Korea on Feb. 27, 2015

 (AA) — South Korea was stunned Friday by a second shooting spree in just three days, as a 75-year-old gunman allegedly killed his own elderly brother and sister-in-law as well as a police officer — before apparently taking his own life.

The daughter-in-law of the victim couple — in their mid-80s — was able to alert authorities at around 09.30 a.m. (0030GMT) after escaping via a second-floor window of their home, according to police cited by local news agency Yonhap.

The deceased officer, identified as 43-year-old local police chief Lee Kang-seok, was among the first emergency responders at the scene, where the bodies of the other three were found.

Police believe that the suspected gunman, surnamed Jeon, had gone to the property to borrow money.

The incident in Hwaseong City, south of Seoul, was another rare case of gun violence in a country where firearm ownership is restricted.

A shooting two days earlier had seen a man kill three people connected to his ex-girlfriend in the central administrative hub of Sejong City, before also seemingly turning a weapon on himself.

Just as on Wednesday, the chief suspect in Friday’s attack is said to have withdrawn weapons from a police station, which is legal for those licensed to do so during hunting season in South Korea.

More than 160,000 guns have been registered by individuals in South Korea as of January, which could raise concerns about the possibility of further civilian attacks — not to mention in the military, which was struck by a shooting spree within one of its units last year.