Skip to main content

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

By Kevin Voigt and Tim Schwarz, CNN
March 4, 2013 -- Updated 0657 GMT (1457 HKT)
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
September 19, 2014 -- Updated 1049 GMT (1849 HKT)
British PM David Cameron has had the narrowest of political escapes.
September 19, 2014 -- Updated 0106 GMT (0906 HKT)
British journalist John Cantlie hadn't been seen in nearly two years. Now, he's the latest hostage to be paraded out by ISIS.
The burial leader. The hospital gatekeeper. The disease detective. All telling powerful, stories from West Africa.
September 18, 2014 -- Updated 2303 GMT (0703 HKT)
Alibaba's IPO is unlike anything investors have ever seen and could threaten other online retailers. Maggie Lake reports.
September 20, 2014 -- Updated 0358 GMT (1158 HKT)
Indian PM Narendra Modi has said al Qaeda will fail if it seeks to spread its terror network into his country.
September 18, 2014 -- Updated 1201 GMT (2001 HKT)
Put yourself in the shoes (and sixth-century black robes) of ISIS' Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the mysterious boss of the terror group.
September 19, 2014 -- Updated 1939 GMT (0339 HKT)
 Tennis Player Li Na attends the WTA Pre-Wimbledon Party as guests enjoy Ciroc Vodka presented by Dubai Duty Free at Kensington Roof Gardens on June 19, 2014 in London,
Asia's first grand slam singles champion Li Na has called time on her 15-year tennis career.
Jenson Button has some of quickest reactions ever shown at an advanced sports lab.
September 19, 2014 -- Updated 1124 GMT (1924 HKT)
Creative companies with quirky ideas find new lending models advantageous.
September 18, 2014 -- Updated 1409 GMT (2209 HKT)
Even death couldn't part two skeletons excavated from a lost chapel in an English county, found with their fingers entwined.
September 19, 2014 -- Updated 1007 GMT (1807 HKT)
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