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Guam offers US$50,000 reward for information on South Korean tourist’s killer

In World
January 06, 2024

Authorities in the US territory of Guam on Friday vowed to bring to justice those who fatally shot a South Korean visitor in a tourist district.

The shooting occurred shortly before 8pm (local time) on Thursday when the traveller and his wife were walking towards Tsubaki Towers, a hotel on Guam’s popular Tumon Bay, from nearby Gun Beach, KUAM-TV reported, citing police.

An older model, dark-coloured SUV approached them from behind, Guam police chief Stephen Ignacio said at a news conference.

A passenger holding a gun got of the vehicle and demanded they hand over their belongings, Ignacio said, adding, “A struggle ensued.”

The victim was taken to Guam Regional Medical City, where he died from his injuries the next morning. He had been visiting Guam while celebrating his retirement.

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The Guam Visitors Bureau has offered a US$50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible.

Guam is an island of about 170,000 people around 6,275km (3,900 miles) west of Hawaii.

Its warm weather has made it a favoured tourist destination for many nearby Asian nations. South Korea sent nearly 270,000 travellers to Guam in the first nine months of last year, more than any other country.

The island is also home to major air force and navy installations. Its economy relies heavily on tourism and US government spending.

In Kook Kim, the Korean consulate’s head of mission, urged Guam’s officials to act quickly.

“Arrest the suspect in no time and carry out a thorough investigation to bring them to justice,” he said at the news conference.

A South Korean tourist was fatally shot near Tsubaki Towers (right) in Tamuning, Guam. Photo: KUAM-TV via AP

Carl Gutierrez, the CEO of the Guam Visitors Bureau, assured visitors that Guam is safe.

“We invite them here to a safe destination. We want to ensure that,” he said.

Guam’s governor met with the late victim’s wife.

“I consoled her, I hugged her, I cried with her. I prayed with her, knowing as a wife and a mother some of the pain that she is going through,” Governor Lou Leon Guerrero said in a video message posted on Instagram.

She urged the people of Guam to come forward with information that would help solve the case.

“Guam remains a safe place, and we are continuing to do everything we can to keep it safe, not just for our people, but our visitors,” she said.

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