Du Young Lee, 56, was fatally stabbed Saturday near Olympic Boulevard and Wall Street, near the wig shop he ran for almost two decades. Witnesses said two teens tried to steal a wig from the store, but Lee chased and confronted them, leading to the stabbing.
Two 17-year-old suspects, a male and female, were arrested and charged in juvenile court with murder and robbery. The teen suspects — who remain in custody — are due back in juvenile court Oct. 26, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
A Korean man was stabbed to death last Saturday in Fashion district, Los Angeles, trying to confront his juvenile shoplifters.
After the incident, Du Young Lee’s daughter, Chaerin Lee established the GoFundME page (https://www.gofundme.com/f/my-father-gave-his-life-protecting-what-was-his?qid=dccf2e972420b7e3a301ec956812d632), and had raised more than $61,000 as of Thursday afternoon. The page is seeking help to pay for funerals in the United States and South Korea.
“Over the past five years, my father has been in multiple incidents like this, confronting shoplifters and getting beat with a golf club, getting beat by multiple men breaking his nose and fracturing his arm,” Chaerin Lee wrote on the page. “Every time he would come back home with injuries like this, I would tell him, ‘Just give it to them, it’s too dangerous,’ but not once did he listen. This has infuriated me very much in the past, but after Tommy had passed away, I got to speak with one of his neighbor store owners. She told me, ‘Tommy wasn’t fighting for himself, he was protecting all the small business owner(s) there. Because if you just let them steal easily, they are going to keep coming back. He was more like a brave heroic figure to us.'”
Meanwhile, Community leaders gathered in the downtown Los Angeles Fashion District today to call on police to step up patrols in the area in response to the broad-daylight fatal stabbing of a business owner, and they called for the two teen suspects in the slaying to be tried as adults.
A group of Korean and Black community leaders held a news conference downtown Thursday asking for increased police protection in the area. Hyepin Im, president and CEO of Faith and Community Empowerment, said Lee “felt compelled to have to respond and chase after this individual.”