Five Koreans Killed in Atlanta Shooting Spree

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Five ethnic Koreans in Atlanta were killed in a shooting spree at a health spa Tuesday night, including the gunman who turned his weapon on himself.

According to police and witnesses in the northern Atlanta suburb of Norcross, the brother-in-law of a Korean American running Su Jung Health Sauna killed the spa owner and three other relatives before shooting himself.

Surveillance camera footage obtained by police showed that the suspect had an argument with the spa owner at a counter in front of the sauna entrance around 8:25 p.m. He then shot the owner, his older sister, his younger sister and her husband before killing himself. At the time of the incident, around 20 employees and customers were in the spa but the suspect did not shoot at them.

Founded in 1998, the sauna is located at Buford Highway between Doraville, a town with many ethnic Koreans, and Duluth, which has an emerging Koreatown. The spa was frequented by not only Korean Americans from the two areas but also those from other regions. The facility, however, had recently suffered bankruptcy procedures. A Korean American who was one of the spa owner’s acquaintances said the owner was in conflict with his wife’s family over the management of the spa.

Another Korean American who knew the owner well said, “I understand that his brother-in-law once threatened the owner’s family with a weapon.”

The decreased spa owner was known as a devout Christian and had a high reputation in the Korean-American community since he served as a board member of a Korean school in Atlanta, chairman of the advisory committee for the Korean-American Chamber of Commerce in Georgia, and a member of the National Unification Advisory Council.

Atlanta has the third-largest ethnic Korean population in the U.S. after Los Angeles and New York.