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Attempted Murder Charges Filed Against Man Who Held Bank Manager Hostage In Buena Park

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(credit: Buena Park Police)

(credit: Buena Park Police)

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SANTA ANA (CBS) — A 54-year-old Irvine man accused of holding a Buena Park bank manager hostage and prompting a standoff, was charged with four counts of attempted murder, three counts of assault with a firearm on a peace officer and other counts, prosecutors announced Tuesday.

Myung Jae Kim, who was shot during the gunfight, remains hospitalized at UCI Medical Center in Orange and an arraignment date was not immediately set, according to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.

The charges against Kim were filed Monday. He was also charged with one count each of possession of a destructive device in a public place, explosion of a destructive device, second-degree robbery, kidnapping to commit a robbery and criminal threats.

The charges include sentencing enhancements for the discharge of a firearm and personal use of a firearm.

He faces up to five life prison terms plus 40 years, according to prosecutors.

Just after 11 a.m. Thursday, Kim, armed with a sawed-off shotgun and four pipe bombs, took the bank manager hostage and forced everyone else out of the building at 4542 Beach Blvd., according to Buena Park police Chief Corey S. Sianez.

Kim had a “beef” with the bank manager stemming from her work at another bank, claiming he lost $250,000, Sianez said. During negotiations with authorities, Kim demanded $250,000 and threatened to kill the hostage and turn the gun on himself, according to police.

During a search of Kim’s business in Garden Grove, investigators found bomb-making materials, police said.

The standoff ended when Kim went to get a phone that authorities sent into the bank via a robot, setting off the exchange of gunfire.

The hostage, Michelle Kwon, held a news conference in Los Angeles, offering a few more details about the dispute that apparently sparked the standoff.

Kwon said the two did not have a personal relationship, but when she worked at another bank in Garden Grove he had a dispute there with something missing from his safety deposit box that he claimed was worth $250,000.

Bank officials at her prior employer did an internal audit that reviewed “all employee accounts, but nothing was found,” she said.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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