Friends and family said they remember sophomore Ki-Seong Kim as a family man who always had a smile on his face. Kim was a devout Christian, as exemplified in the countless hours he spent volunteering at his church in Maryland, friends said.
Kim, 21, took his life Friday shortly after seriously wounding a University of Maryland student in a College Park, Md., parking garage (see story, right).
David Pang, Kim’s brother-in-law, said Kim loved sports, especially golf and baseball, and was a regular at church.
“Ki-Seong was a loving man, a good son, a good uncle, and he was just full of life,” Pang said.
“When people were feeling down, he was that person who made you feel better,” he added.
Pang said Kim coached softball in a youth group league and loved to play video games on his X-Box and Playstation.
“All the kids said that he was their favorite person,” Pang said. “He loved hanging out with kids.”
Kim, who transferred to GW from the University of Maryland last spring, was an active member of GW’s Hope Bible Study, a group dedicated to the teachings of Christ.
Jung Kang, an adviser to Hope Bible Study, said Kim always helped those in need.
“He was a very sacrificial person,” Kang said. “Whenever a student needed rides or needed some food or needed to talk to someone, he was always there. He was a Christian and a family person – very much into family.”
“Ki-Seong was a great guy. A lot of the students miss him already because he was a great older brother to a lot of the younger-classmen,” Kang added.
Sophomore Peter Hersey, a board member of Hope Bible Study and a friend of Kim’s, remembers Kim as a mediator who always went out of his way to meet people.
“He had a great sense of humor,” said a visibly distraught Hersey Saturday. “He was a very loving person.”
Hersey said Kim organized events for younger students and invited them on golf outings.
“He was very well – liked,” Hersey said. “He especially reached out to a bunch of the guys (in the group). He was athletic, he loved to play with the guys … play golf with the guys, play ball.”
Kim Constock, a GW graduate, said she met Kim at a prayer meeting last spring.
“He was fun-loving, just kind of a goofball … a lot of us just can’t help but think about the good times and the memories,” she said.
Friends and family said Kim did not exhibit signs of trouble in the weeks preceding the shootings.
“There’s nothing unusual that stands out or marks itself,” Kang said.
Freshman Samuel Kim said he talked to Ki-Seong Kim Friday at 10:30 a.m., two hours before the incident.
“The day I talked to him, before he left he said, ‘I’m cool, I think I’m going to go write a paper,'” Samuel Kim said.
“He didn’t even tell me he was leaving, he said he was just going to stay in his room and write a paper,” he continued. “He was just waiting for someone to e-mail him so he could finish up his paper. That was it.”
“He was always his same self, actually,” Pang said. “We would’ve talked to him … no one had any idea about this.”
Kang said the Hope Bible Study group was shocked to hear about the shootings.
“We’re doing as best as we can to deal with it,” he said.
Pang said Kim should be remembered as a good friend and a loving person.
“The tragedy that occurred shouldn’t be how he’s remembered,” Pang said. “A lot of good came out of his life.”