Skip to main content

U.S. investigates soldier shooting, car chase in South Korea

By Kevin Voigt and Tim Schwarz, CNN
updated 1:57 AM EST, Mon March 4, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The U.S. Army said Monday it "regrets" an incident in which a U.S. solider was shot
  • Yonhap: Soldier allegedly refused to stop for South Korean police and shot in shoulder
  • The solider and two others were involved in a late Saturday car chase through the streets of Seoul

(CNN) -- The U.S. Army said Monday it "regrets" an incident in which a U.S. solider was shot after allegedly refusing to stop for South Korean police, leading to a car chase through Seoul late Saturday night.

The 23-year-old private first class was shot in the shoulder after midnight on Saturday during the incident, according to Yonhap, a government-affiliated South Korean news agency.

South Korean police claim the soldier tried to run over a police officer on a dead-end street, according to Yonhap. The officer fired a warning shot and three shots into the car, but the car sped away and was later found near the Yongsan Garrison, home of the 8th U.S. Army in South Korea, Yonhap said.

The shooting victim -- whose name has not been released -- is in stable condition at the Brian Allgood Community Hospital in Seoul, according to the 8th U.S. Army Public Affairs office.

South Korean missionary dies in China
Island dispute leads to product boycott
South Korea shows it's prepared for war

U.S. forces received a subpoena Monday morning for the two other individuals involved in the incident, U.S. military officials told CNN. The pair met with South Korean police later in the day, officials said.

The U.S. Criminal Investigation Command, who is responsible for investigating criminal incidents among U.S. forces anywhere in the world, are helping the Korean National Police with the investigation, the spokesperson said.

The serviceman was tested but "initial results do not indicate the presence of alcohol," the army said.

"Although the details of this incident are unclear, we take all incidents involving U.S. service members in the local community very seriously and will work closely with the Korean National Police as they continue their investigation," said Brig. Gen. Chris Gentry, Eighth Army deputy commanding general, in a news release.

The incident began when police received calls American soldiers were threatening people with an air rifle near Itaewon subway station, local police told Yonhap. The soldier, a U.S. Army staff sergeant and his wife then fled in a vehicle, beginning a high-speed pursuit with local police.

A police officer and two bystanders suffered minor injuries and four cars were damaged in the chase, Yonhap reported.

"Eighth Army's relationship with the Korean community is very important and we regret this unfortunate incident," the 8th U.S. Army Public Affairs office said in a news release. "We are thankful for the continued support to our soldiers and families by our Korean hosts as we continue to enforce the highest standards of professionalism among our service members."

There are about 28,500 U.S. soldiers in South Korea, a military ally of Washington. U.S. troops have been in the region since the Korean War, in which an armistice was signed in 1953 but a peace treaty never ratified. Tensions still flare on the Korean peninsula, as seen by the recent North Korean rocket launch and underground nuclear testing.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 6:19 PM EST, Fri November 21, 2014
China and likely other countries have the capacity to shut down the U.S. power grid, says the NSA.
updated 8:21 PM EST, Thu November 20, 2014
If it wasn't for a comic's skit, Bill Cosby would still be America's favorite father, says expert.
updated 10:50 AM EST, Fri November 21, 2014
Obama orders the most sweeping overhaul of U.S. immigration in decades, prioritizing the deportation of "felons, not families."
updated 4:06 PM EST, Tue November 18, 2014
Fighters loyal to ISIS are now in control of Derna, a city on Libya's Mediterranean coast.
updated 2:45 PM EST, Wed November 19, 2014
The founder of a U.S. nonprofit that works with returning soldiers is named CNN's Hero of the Year.
updated 8:24 AM EST, Mon November 17, 2014
It's a very big challenge but NASA chief scientist Ellen Stofan thinks it can be done.
updated 7:39 PM EST, Sun November 16, 2014
CNN's Atika Shubert explains how the most recent ISIS video differs from the other previous hostage execution videos.
updated 12:38 PM EST, Mon November 17, 2014
A Syrian cleric condemns ISIS and its execution of U.S. hostage Peter Kassig.
updated 12:20 PM EST, Sun November 16, 2014
Volunteer fighters in eastern Ukraine dig down just 800 meters from the front line.
updated 12:29 PM EST, Tue November 18, 2014
TV anchor wears the same suit for a year. Female colleague wears new outfit daily. Who gets criticized?
updated 7:04 AM EST, Fri November 21, 2014
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT