HAGATNA, Guam (AP) — Authorities in the U.S. territory of Guam vowed Friday to bring to justice those who fatally shot a South Korean visitor in a tourist district.
The shooting happened shortly before 8 p.m. Thursday, as the traveler and his wife were heading to Tsubaki Towers, a hotel on Guam’s popular Tumon Bay, from nearby Gun Beach. KUAM-TV reportedquoting the police.
An older, dark-colored SUV approached them from behind, Guam Police Chief Stephen Ignacio said at a news conference.
A passenger holding a gun got out of the vehicle and demanded that he hand over his belongings, Ignacio said, adding, “A struggle ensued.”
The victim was transported to Guam Regional Medical City, where he died from his injuries the following morning. He was visiting Guam to celebrate his retirement.
The Guam Visitors Bureau has offered a $50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible.
Guam is an island of about 170,000 people located about 3,900 miles (6,275 kilometers) west of Hawaii.
Its warm climate has made it a favored tourist destination for many neighboring Asian countries. South Korea sent nearly 270,000 travelers to Guam in the first nine months of last year, more than any other country.
The island is also home to major Air Force and Navy installations. Its economy relies heavily on tourism and U.S. government spending.
A Kook Kim, the Korean consulate’s chief of mission, urged Guam officials to act quickly.
“Arrest the suspect in no time and conduct a thorough investigation to bring him to justice,” he said at the press conference.
Carl Gutierrez, CEO of the Guam Visitors Bureau, assured visitors that Guam is safe.
“We invite them here to a safe destination. We want to make sure of that,” he said.
The governor of Guam met with the late victim’s wife.
“I consoled her, I hugged her, I cried with her. I prayed with her, knowing as a wife and mother some of the pain she is going through,” Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero said in a video message posted to Instagram.
She urged the people of Guam to come forward with information that could help resolve this matter.
“Guam remains a safe place, and we continue to do everything we can to ensure safety, not only for our people, but also for our visitors,” she said.
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