Bundang stabbing rampage suspect says ‘very sorry to victims’

The 22-year-old suspect behind last week's fatal department store stabbing rampage in Bundang, south of Seoul, apologized as police referred him to the prosecution for further investigation.

"I am very sorry to the victims," Choi Won-jong, 22, said at a police station in Seongnam on his way to be transferred to the prosecution for further investigation and potential indictment.

Choi was formerly arrested Saturday, after he rammed a car into pedestrians outside a department store in Seongnam's Bundang district and randomly attacked shoppers with a knife inside the store two days earlier. The incident left one person dead and 13 others injured. One of the surviving victims became brain dead.

On Thursday, the Gyeonggi Nambu Police Agency referred Choi to the Suwon District Prosecutors Office on charges including murder and attempted murder.

Wearing a navy T-shirt with stubble covering his chin, Choi showed up without a mask covering his face.

"I hope those who are now at the hospital recover as soon as possible," he said. "I also extend my condolences to the dead victim and would like to say I am very sorry to the bereaved family."

Choi, however, spoke incoherently about the motive of his crime, saying he went ahead with the crime because he thought there were many organized stalkers around his home in the district.

"I had been a victim of an organized stalking ring and was bullied even on the day of the crime. I thought many of the ring members lived near my neighborhood," he told reporters.

Police previously revealed that the suspect dropped out of high school due to social phobia and was later diagnosed with schizoid personality disorder. He stopped receiving treatment for his mental issues for the past three years.

Police publicly released the suspect's name, age and photos on Monday in consideration of the gravity of his crime. He reportedly declined to take a mug shot.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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