- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 14, 2009

LOS ANGELES (AP) - A man accused in a deadly shooting rampage at a Roman Catholic Korean retreat told investigators that he believed the victims were not treating him fairly, a sheriff’s spokesman said Tuesday.

John Chong, 69, confessed to killing a woman and injuring three other people during an interview Friday, three days after the shooting on April 7, said Riverside County Sheriff’s Sgt. Michael Lujan.

“His statement was that he’s known them over three years and did not agree with the way that they were living their lives,” Lujan said.

Chong also told investigators that he purchased the .32-caliber revolver in December and practiced using it outside the Southern California retreat about 85 miles southeast of Los Angeles, he said.

Investigators said Chong fatally shot Chuneui Yun at the Kkottongnae (GOHT’-dohng-nay) Retreat Camp and wounded her husband at their home before trying to shoot another couple who disarmed him in a violent struggle.

Riverside County district attorney’s spokesman John Hall told The Associated Press that relations between Chong and the Yuns had deteriorated recently. He said the Yuns thought Chong came to their home on April 7 to smooth tensions because it was just before Easter.

Hall said that after Chong shot Yun in the head and her husband in the torso, he went to the nearby home of Joseph and Julianna Kim, where he shot at the woman but missed. He said Joseph Kim used a dumbbell to beat Chong, who was so badly injured that deputies found him in a pool of blood on the Kims’ porch.

Chong was moved Monday to a jail hospital and was being held on $1 million bond. He will likely make a court appearance Thursday.

Riverside County district attorney’s spokesman John Hall said one count of murder and three counts of attempted murder were expected to be filed Wednesday against Chong. If convicted on all counts, Chong could face life in prison.

The Sheriff’s Department hasn’t been able to find any relatives for Chong and he had no prior criminal record, Lujan said. A search of Riverside County records turned up a single speeding ticket for him.

The retreat, run by Korean nuns, is one of four U.S. branches of the Kkottongnae Brothers and Sisters of Jesus, a Roman Catholic organization dedicated to serving the poor and homeless. It was founded in the city of Cheongju, South Korea, by Father Oh Woong Jin in 1976.


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