One More in Jail, Charged With Duluth Murder

Altercation apparently occurred after disrespectful words exchanged between two groups.



Three suspects are in jail and another is being sought in the murder of Kwang Ko, who was found stabbed and bleeding Dec. 8 in the Aldi grocery store parking lot in Duluth and later died from his injuries.

Duluth Police Capt. Mark Hunter reported at a press conference Wednesday (Dec. 14) that arrest warrants have been obtained for Yeon-Tae Kang Hill, 20, and Dongsoo Park, 25.

Maj. Don Woodroff reported Friday evening that Hill had been arrested and charged in the murder. Park is believed to have escaped to Korea, Woodruff said.

Two suspects were arrested early Tuesday (Dec. 13) by Duluth Police investigators for their involvement in the Ko homicide case, the city's first in 2011. Seung Won Lee, 24, and Dong Ho Shin, 30, both of Duluth, each have been charged with one count of felony murder and one count of aggravated assault.

All three suspects were being held in the Gwinnett County Detention Center.

The arrest warrants for Hill and Park listed the same charges.

Ko, 32, a Duluth resident, was found stabbed and bleeding in the parking lot of the Aldi at 2618 Pleasant Hill Road in Duluth about 7 a.m. last Thursday. He was discovered by a citizen using the ATM at the Bank of America who called police.

Hunter said that Ko had multiple knife puncture and slash wounds. Ko died either while being transported by EMS or after arriving at Gwinnett Medical Center-Duluth, he said.

Ko, an unidentified companion, and the four suspects had been patrons at the Korean Folk Restaurant, Hunter said. The police investigation discovered that disrespectful words were exchanged between the two groups, and an altercation occurred about 6:35 or 6:45 a.m. in the parking lot. Ko's companion was injured but escaped, he said. "There appears to be no gang affiliation at this point," Hunter said.

The incident revealed that the restaurant apparently had remained open past the closing time required by the state for establishments that serve alcoholic beverages, Hunter said. Last call during the week is supposed to be at 1:30 a.m., and the restaurant should have been vacated an hour later by 2:30 a.m., he said. "Had that occurred," Hunter said, "we would not have been there at 7 a.m."

He indicated that Duluth Police would be closely monitoring restaurant hours in the city and making sure they adhere to the law.

Duluth's Korean community assisted police with the investigation, Hunter said.


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