Details of Military Reservist Rampage Revealed

kpride, May 15, 2015, 10:29 a.m.

Instructors at a training camp fled to safety rather than trying to subdue a 23-year-old reservist who went on a shooting rampage on Wednesday, Army investigators said.

"Most of the active-duty personnel fled to safety because everything happened so suddenly," an investigator told reporters. "The assistant instructors and other staff seem to have failed to take proper measures because they felt in danger themselves, despite the Army field manual requiring them to take immediate action." 

According to the investigation, three officers and six assistant instructors were supervising a total of 20 shooting lanes at the camp. The investigators concluded that the shooter, identified as Choi, who shot three reservists and wounded two others before killing himself, had premeditated the action.

Choi had sent text messages to his friend on about 10 occasions in March through May implying that he would commit suicide. "Choi sent about 100 text messages to a friend, and about a dozen implied he would kill himself," an investigator said. "The friend didn't answer most of the messages because he didn't take them seriously."

A suicide note found in Choi's pant pocket after his death said, "I want to kill everybody and myself." Choi apparently suffered from severe stress since he failed a marine welding certificate early this year, according to the investigators. And before he enlisted in February 2010 he received psychiatric treatment six times for hyperkinetic disorder.

He was classified as "at-risk" while in the Army because he showed suicidal tendencies. His Army jobs changed four times because he had difficulties adapting to his environment.

The Defense Ministry is going to pay the families of each of those killed W114 million (US$1=W1,092) in compensation. Their families can also claim W840,000 a month in veterans' pensions.

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