Orange County District Attorney Media Advisory
For Immediate Release, Case # 12NF0672: April 4, 2014
WHO: Myung Jae Kim, 56, Irvine
WHAT: Scheduled for opening statements Monday. Kim is charged with one felony count each of attempted murder, assault with a firearm, kidnapping, possession of a destructive device in a public place, explosion of a destructive device, criminal threats, and three felony counts of assault with a firearm on a peace officer. He faces sentencing enhancements for the personal discharge of a firearm, personal use of a firearm, and personal use of a deadly weapon. If convicted on all counts, Kim faces a maximum sentence of 50 years to life in state prison.
WHEN: Monday, April 7, 2014, at 9:30 a.m
WHERE: Department C-43, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana
Senior Deputy District Attorney John Christl of the Special Prosecutions Unit is prosecuting this case.
On Thursday March 1, 2011, at approximately 11:00 am, Buena Park police officers were dispatched to the Saehan Bank located at 4542 Beach Blvd regarding a possible bank robbery in-progress. While en route officers received additional information that the suspect was armed with a shotgun and involved in some sort of disturbance with the bank manager.
Upon arrival, officers immediately began evacuating nearby businesses. A caller from inside the bank advised Buena Park Police dispatch that the suspect was now ordering everyone, except for the bank manager, out of the bank. After the bank was evacuated, officers were able to verify through witness statements that the lone suspect was holding the bank manager hostage; but made no other demands. The Buena Park Police SWAT team was activated.
Buena Park Police SWAT negotiators were able to make contact with the suspect. Sometime during the negotiations with the suspect, demands were made for a large sum of cash. After speaking with the suspect for several hours it appeared the negotiations were breaking down and it was determined that the safety of the hostage was in jeopardy. The SWAT team moved in when an opportunity to rescue the hostage presented itself.
While attempting to rescue the hostage the SWAT team was met with gunfire from the suspect. Members of the SWAT team immediately returned fire and were able to safety extract the hostage from the building with minimal injuries to the officers. The hostage was rescued without any injury.
As the suspect was being taken into custody he was found to be in possession of an improvised explosive device which appeared to be pipe bomb. Several additional pipe bombs were found inside the bank. The Orange County bomb squad was summoned and the devices were rendered safe.
The suspect has been identified as Myung Jae Kim, 54 years old, of Irvine. Kim remains hospitalized; and he has been booked for attempt murder of a police officer, kidnapping, and robbery.