Woo Bom Kon

Woo Bum-kon

Woo Bum-kon (February 24, 1955April 27, 1982) was a Korean police officer who carried out the largest known incident of spree killing in modern history. After the rampage concluded, fifty-eight people (including himself) were dead and thirty-five were wounded in Gyeongsangnam-do, South Korea.

Uiryeong massacre

Woo had an argument with his live-in girlfriend, Chun Mal-soon, on the afternoon of April 26, 1982. Enraged, he left the house and went to the police armory while other officers were at a meeting, where he began drinking heavily. After becoming intoxicated, he gathered an arsenal including a rifle and some grenades. He left the armory around dinner time armed and drunk. Initially, he killed three operators at the local telephone exchange to prevent others calling emergency services. He then walked from house to house and abused his position as a police officer to make people feel safe and gain entry into their homes. He shot most of his victims, but in one case he killed an entire family with a grenade. He continued this pattern for a full eight hours.

After Woo had shot a number of people in one village, he would resume the spree killing in a nearby village. In the early hours of April 27, after rampaging through five villages in Uiryeong county, Woo took his final two grenades and strapped them to his body. He then held three people captive and then set the grenades' fuses, killing both himself and his final victims. Altogether, with a toll of 58 dead and 35 injured, the rampage of Woo Bum-Kon is the highest record killing spree in modern times. Chun Mai-Sun later said that her boyfriend "suffered from an inferiority complex and had been bothered by villagers' comments on their living together unmarried." Later on, the provincial chief of police was suspended, and four other officers were arrested for negligence of duty.

Resignation of the Interior Minister

The Interior Minister of South Korea Suh Chung-hwa resigned his post following the killings as a form of atonement for Woo's rampage. Roh Tae-woo was appointed Interior Minister.

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