TACOMA, WA – Today Superior Court Judge John Hickman sentenced Min Sik Kim, 31, to just over 8 years in prison. Kim was convicted of murder in the second degree for shooting a shoplifter, 21-year-old Jakeel Rashon Mason, in the back as he tried to flee Kim’s store.
“The defendant’s frustrations were understandable, but his actions were not lawful,” said Prosecutor Mark Lindquist. “This resolution takes into account Mr. Kim’s circumstances and also holds him accountable."
On March 25, 2016, a group of men were loitering outside Kim’s store, the Pacific Quick Shop located at 16618 Pacific Avenue. Kim went outside to tell them to leave. Video surveillance from inside the store shows that while Kim was outside, Mason attempted to steal cigarettes from behind the counter.
As Kim re-enters the store, surveillance video shows Kim with a handgun in his right hand. Kim points the gun at Mason and physically grabs Mason and forces him further into the store. Mason puts both hands up and is not resisting. Kim then holsters the gun before punching Mason in the face. The two men engage in a physical fight where both men exchange punches. Kim gets taken to the floor by Mason as both men continue to fight for several seconds.
The video shows Mason was able to free himself and attempted to flee the store. Kim stood up and removed the firearm from the holster, positioned himself behind Mason, raised the gun, and shot Mason twice in the back as Mason fled.
Mason collapsed in the doorway and died before medical aid arrived.
“I’m here to take responsibility for my actions in taking Mason’s life,” Mr. Kim said during sentencing. “I accept the consequences. I did not have the right to take his life.”
Kim’s wife was clerking the same store in February 2015 when the store was robbed by a different person. The robber displayed a gun and the two fired at each other. She was shot, but survived.
For more information, please contact James Lynch at (253) 798-6265, firstname.lastname@example.org.