Eina Kwon, a restaurant owner who was fatally shot at a Seattle intersection on Tuesday, is being remembered by friends and loved ones for her kindness.
Kwon, whose unborn child also died following the incident, was described by those who worked near her sushi restaurant, Aburiya Bento House, as an “incredible human being.” She was also the mother of a 2-year-old child.
“She’s been the most selfless, loving person every time we walked by, she’s always coming out here at the same time every morning to put out her sign just like I put out my sign,” Michael Hoyle, who owns businesses next to Kwon’s restaurant, told local NBC News affiliate KING5. “I’m still kind of in a shell shock. That’s the only word I can use.”
Video that was recovered from a nearby building showed that Kwon, 34, and her husband Sung-hyun Kwon, 37, were stopped at the intersection when a suspect ran up to the driver’s side of the vehicle before firing and running away, according to court documents. Both victims were sent to Harborview Medical Center, where Eina was sent into emergency surgery so her baby could be delivered. Both Eina, who suffered multiple gunshot wounds, and the baby died at the hospital. Sung-Hyun, who was shot in the arm, survived his injuries.
Officers arrested one suspect, 30-year-old Cordell Maurice Goosby, a short distance away from the scene and recovered a firearm. Goosby told authorities that he thought he saw a gun in the car and reacted by firing his handgun into the vehicle, court documents show. But additional video revealed that there was “no interaction between the victims and the suspect in the preceding block, prior to the incident.” The documents also show that Goosby did appear to detectives to be “in some level of crisis whether genuine or performed.”
Goosby, who is currently being held in King County Jail, was charged on Friday with murder in the first degree with a firearm enhancement and attempted murder in the first degree with a firearm enhancement. His attorney, public defender Mark Adair, did not respond to NBC News’ request for comment.
“No amount of justice will bring that family home again,” Seattle Police Chief Adrian Diaz said in a video statement posted online Thursday. “We know that this has great impacts to the community, not only the greater community, but the Korean community. I have been in conversations and communications with members throughout the community to try and ensure that we are doing everything we can to make this community safe.”
Kim Ramirez, a friend and frequent patron of Aburiya Bento House, told KING5 that she considered the Kwons “family.”
“They were part of our family, our extended family,” Ramirez said. “And we love them. Really nice people.”
Dong Won, a friend who organized a GoFundMe to help bring Eina Kwon’s family from Korea to the U.S. for the funeral, said the mother had been looking forward to throwing her toddler son a birthday party.
“I remember my friend, Eina, was very excited to customize her son’s 3rd birthday cake and planned to have the party,” friend Dong Won wrote on the GoFundMe page. “His birthday is coming very soon, just a couple more weeks.”
Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell, who said he spoke to Sung-hyun on Thursday, expressed his support and condolences to the family in a statement.
“This tragedy is horrific in so many ways — we have lost a mother and unborn child from an act of unprovoked violence,” Harrell said. “My heart is also with their young child, who will grow up without their mother, and our broader community that must process yet another traumatic, unnecessary incident that leaves our community hurting and incomplete.”