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Pregnant Woman Shot Dead in Seattle While Stopped at Traffic Light

34-year-old Eina Kwon, a restaurant owner, was murdered in broad daylight on her way to work. Attempts to save her child failed.
Leo Timm
Leo Timm covers China-related news, culture, and history. Follow him on Twitter at @kunlunpeaks
Published: June 15, 2023
An undated photo of Eina Kwon, 34, who was murdered in an unprovoked shooting in the morning of June 13, 2023, in downtown Seattle. 32 weeks pregnant, her baby was delivered but died shortly after her. (Image: via KIRO 7)

A Korean-American couple in Seattle were shot at multiple times while stopped at a traffic light on June 13 (Tuesday), resulting in the death of Eina Kwon, 34, and her unborn child, who was delivered via emergency Caesarean section but could not be saved.

Kwon, who was 32 weeks (eight months) pregnant, was shot four times, including once in the head, by a man who, according to police surveillance footage, ran up to her car with a rifle and opened fire in the apparently unprovoked attack at the intersection of 5th Ave and Lenora St in downtown Seattle.

Police arrested the shooter, a 30-year-old surnamed Goosby, who surrendered at the scene, which occurred before noon. He put his hands up while saying “I did it, I did it,” according to court documents reviewed by FOX 13. Goosby had stolen the rifle he used in his attack, according to police.

Kwon was treated at Harborview Medical Center, where doctors pronounced her dead soon after she gave birth. Her child died shortly afterward.

She is survived by husband, 37-year-old Sung Kwon, and two-year-old son Suhjin. Sung Kwon was also injured in the shooting and left the hospital on June 14.

The Kwons ran a restaurant, Aburiya Bento House, in the Belltown district.

Eina and Sung were on their way to work at the time of the shooting. According to a GoFundMe page created to support the family, Sung tried to block the bullets flying towards them, and tore his clothes in an attempt to dress his wife’s wounds.

‘Who’s gonna help them?’

Seattle residents who spoke with the media expressed sadness about the tragedy and frustration with the city’s approach to public safety.

“We suffered a tragedy on the streets of downtown Seattle,” Mayor Bruce Harrell said in response to the shooting. “They are relying on us for hope.”

According to the authorities, Goosby is a convicted felon from Illinois. He was apparently having a mental episode at the time of the attack.

“I’m definitely scared to be in this area. Action needs to happen quick,” Seattle woman Lisa McGee told KOMO. “It’s a shame that such a pretty city has become so grungy and unsafe to the point where I don’t even want to work downtown anymore.”

Michael Holye, a friend of the Kwons, described Eina as “really, really giving” and “the most selfless person” he’d ever met. “I’m angry and there needs to be action,” he told KIRO 7.

“She had a kid on the way with her family and she leaves behind another little one and, uh, who’s gonna help them?” he said. “Who’s gonna make sure that he can sustain a restaurant now that he’s gone through this tragedy?”

At the time of reporting, over $18,000 has been donated to the Kwons, 12 hours after the GoFundMe page was set up.

Eric Tanaka, who runs four businesses on Fourth Ave, told the outlet that he “would like to see more police downtown walking the streets.”

“Why should I come downtown — it’s dangerous. It’s hard to counter that at this point,” Tanaka added.

Many American cities have seen escalating waves of violence and disorder in recent years, with ideologically and racially motivated riots wreaking havoc on urban communities amid pushes to “defund the police,” implement cash-free bail, and other policies that worsen crime.

Asian-Americans, a growing demographic nationwide, have been hard-hit in the trend of rising crime. The attack on the Kwons follows the deaths of another Korean-American couple and one of their two young sons during the May 6 mass shooting at a mall north of Dallas, Texas. That shooting left nine dead.