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(LEAD) Another woman killed while under police protection, suspect found dead

All News 11:55 February 15, 2022

(ATTN: CHANGES headline, lead; UPDATES throughout with latest details)

SEOUL, Feb. 15 (Yonhap) -- A woman in her 40s has been killed by her former boyfriend while under police protection, officials said Tuesday, in the latest in a series of preventable deaths expected to spark calls for better protection measures for such victims.

The victim, whose identity was withheld, was having a drink with an unidentified man at her bar in Seoul's western Guro district when her 56-year-old ex-boyfriend visited the bar and stabbed the two Monday night, officials said.

She was taken to a hospital but died, while the other man was under treatment with injuries.

All three of them are Chinese nationals who are ethnically Korean.

The suspect, who had immediately fled the scene of crime, was found dead in apparent suicide in the nearby Yangcheon district Tuesday morning, according to the police.

The woman sought police help through an emergency smartwatch provided to potential victims of stalking and other serious crimes right before the attack. Police received the alert at 10:12 p.m. and arrived at the scene three minutes later.

According to the police, the victim filed a criminal complaint against the ex-boyfriend on charges of blackmail and assault on Friday, and was given the smartwatch and went under police protection.

After learning she filed the complaint with police, the suspect visited her again, threatened her and was detained by police. However, police released him later after prosecutors rejected an arrest warrant for him.

Police issued a restraining order prohibiting the suspect from coming within 100 meters of the victim or contacting her through electronic communication devices.

The incident was the latest in a series of deaths of people despite being under police protection.

In November, a woman in her 30s was killed by a 36-year-old stalker despite requesting police help through the emergency watch. In December, a 26-year-old man named Lee Seok-joon killed his former girlfriend's mother and seriously injured her younger brother. The ex-girlfriend was also under police protection at the time.

The emergency smartwatch system, currently under a pilot run, is set to officially go into operation across the country later this month. The system is aimed at better protecting victims by picking up accurate location signals when the wearers report an emergency through the watch.

This composite photo, provided by Yonhap News TV, shows a smartwatch provided to victims of stalking and other potential crimes by the police for protection. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

nyway@yna.co.kr
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