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Flushing man held in shooting

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A Flushing man accused of fatally shooting the owner of a Korean nightclub in Manhattan and soon after fleeing to San Jose, Calif., was arraigned last Thursday night and held without bail, the Manhattan district attorney's office said.

Young Min Kwak, 27, who sublet a basement studio in a 2-1/2-story house on 150th Place and 32nd Avenue, abruptly packed his belongings and left for California, where his sister lives, shortly after the murder, the landlord of Young's apartment said in an interview.

Young was arrested in San Jose and has been accused of murdering Sang Dal Choi, 43, of Flushing, the owner of the President Club on East 32nd Street over a $980 bill he amassed on July 15.

At about 4:30 a.m., Young fired a 9-millimeter pistol at Sang as well as two other individuals inside the club, fatally wounding Sang in both the head and the neck, the complaint said.

Young has been charged with second-degree murder and two counts of weapon possession. If convicted, he could face 25 years to life.

Homeowners along 150th place could offer only scant details about Young, in large measure they say because he "kept to himself." A woman who answered the door at Young's residence but refused to give her name described Young as a quiet man who would sometimes exchange pleasantries with her.

"He seemed like a nice guy," she said. "I was shocked. I just came back from Virginia Beach to learn about this."

The woman added that Young had been living with his brother in the basement studio, but she was unsure of the brother's whereabouts.

The neighbors said that the family renting the studio to Young had moved in about a year ago. On Sundays, they said, the family would hold lively religious services, including singing hymns, inside the house.

But one woman who lives across the street from Young said she would frequently awake to the noise of cars being shuffled at around 2 a.m. or 3 a.m. Though not entirely sure whether she has ever seen Young, she said that an Asian man would park his car on the street on Fridays when opposite-side-of-the-street rules were in effect and would receive tickets.

Joseph Van Demark, who the district attorney's office said is representing Young, did not return calls seeking comment.

Posted 7:05 pm, October 10, 2011
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