‘Coronavirus’ Prank Targeting Korean Student Ends in Violent Brawl and Gun Drawn

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An alleged prank making use of coronavirus posters escalated into a violent brawl that concluded with a gun pointed at a South Korean exchange student.

The incident, which involved multiple people, occurred in a dorm room at Angelo State University (ASU) in San Angelo, Texas on March 27.

The fight reportedly broke out when exchange student Jihan Kim, 23, returned to his dorm room to find several posters endorsing an app for someone “worried about COVID-19 symptoms.”

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Shortly after, Kim discovered that the posters on his door were taped by Michael Luna, his roommate, and Shane Stumpf, another person residing in the dorm.

Image via Jihan Kim

For the past several weeks, Asian Americans and Asians around the world have become targets of racism and xenophobia, with perpetrators blaming them for the spread of COVID-19.

Needless to say, the supposed prank enraged Kim, who then stormed into Stumpf’s room to confront him.

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Image via Angelo State University Police Department

An initial fight occurred between Kim and Stumpf, who was in the room with his girlfriend, Sarah Bridges. Stumpf managed to push Kim out.

However, Kim returned to kick Stumpf’s door to break in. As a result, Stumpf allegedly a loaded 12-gauge shotgun at Kim, who then fled immediately.

Image via Angelo State University Police Department

Luna reported the incident first to police, who located a loaded Winchester 1300 12-gauge shotgun in Stumpf’s room, according to San Angelo LIVE. They also found an empty pistol holster, a .22 cal pistol, a drawing of a KKK figure with a burning cross, as well as a Confederate flag with a text stating, “I go for Jim Crow.”

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Police reportedly ordered Stumpf and his girlfriend to exit the room. They found Stumpf with a bleeding nose.

Image via Angelo State University Police Department

Kim, on the other hand, was located in the Residents’ Assistant (RA) office. All four subjects (Kim, Stumpf, Bridges and Luna) were taken into custody for questioning.

After the interviews, Kim and Stumpf were booked into the Tom Green County Jail for assault causing bodily injury. Additionally, Kim was charged with criminal trespassing of a habitation.

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Images via Angelo State University Police Department

Both men were released on the same day, however. Kim was freed on a $1,500 surety bond, while Stumpf posted a $1,000 bond.

In 2016, Texas passed a law allowing people to carry handguns in public universities. The minimum age of having a license-to-carry (LTC) is 21, but Stumpf is only 20.

Image via Angelo State University Police Department

“Angelo State University requires that students living in university residential facilities who possess a valid CHL [concealed handgun license] or LTC and who possess a handgun in that facility must secure, at the permit holder’s expense, the firearm in such a manner that it is not readily available to anyone except the permit holder,” the university states in its policy, which was last revised in June 2019.

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“The threat from the gun was too scary,” Kim told the JoongAng Ilbo.

Image via Angelo State University Police Department

Both Kim and Stumpf declined to press charges. However, they are expected to undergo a disciplinary process at ASU.

“While we cannot comment on this case, the university has in place a disciplinary process for student conduct matters,” the university said in an email, according to the San Angelo Standard-Times. “We have zero tolerance for violence or discrimination. We know that the vast majority of our students are committed to the university’s values — including creating a safe and secure environment for every member of our campus community, regardless of their backgrounds or beliefs.”

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Feature Images via Jihan Kim (left) and Angelo State University Police Department (right)

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