Police: Suspect, tenants argued before shooting
PORTLAND, Maine — A 74-year-old Maine man killed two teenage tenants inside their apartment while arguing with them about late rent, snow shoveling and parking, according to a police affidavit released on Monday.
James Pak of Biddeford walked into the apartment attached to his home and told the tenants he was going to shoot them before following through on his threat, police wrote. A third tenant survived by playing dead and hiding behind a Christmas tree. Pak allegedly told police he spared the life of a 6-year-old boy who lived in the apartment but thought he killed three adults.
Pak didn't enter a plea during his first court appearance on Monday in York County Superior Court, where he was ordered held without bail. He's charged with two counts of murder in the Saturday evening deaths of 19-year-old Derrick Thompson and his 18-year-old girlfriend, Alivia Welch.
Thompson and Welch lived in the apartment with Thompson's 44-year-old mother, Susan Johnson, and Johnson's young son.
Biddeford police had been at Pak's home minutes before the shootings. Thompson had called them to report that Pak was yelling and threatening him and banging on his door.
Police left after Thompson told the officers he didn't fear Pak, only to have Johnson call 911 three minutes later reporting the shootings.
Upon his arrest about 10 p.m. Saturday, Pak told detectives he thought he had killed three people.
Detectives interviewed Johnson in Maine Medical Center, where she was treated for non-life-threatening wounds.
She told them that she tried to hide behind a Christmas tree and play dead when Pak shot her.
Pak then retreated to the main part of the house where he lived and surrendered three hours later upon talking with a police negotiating team.
Pak had alcohol on his breath and told police he was suicidal and wanted to die, the affidavit reads.
Pak is a stone mason and the owner of Korean Yankee Landscape in Biddeford, according to his business website. It describes him as a Korean War orphan who came to the United States from South Korea. He grew up in Vermont and started a masonry and landscaping business in 1964, according to the website, and sold it in 2006, when he and his wife, Armit, moved to Biddeford and opened another business.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Years will be needed to gauge efforts to cut Lake Erie algae
- Police: Maine man shoots firework from top of his head, dies
- Risk of government shutdown to worry Congress on return from July Fourth
- Austin police kill gunman in slaying in hotel lobby
- Alamo named as World Heritage site by United Nations
- Arizona prison to relocate more than 350 inmates after disturbance
- Santorum charter flight tab broke $400K
- Deteriorating nails blamed for North Carolina deck collapse
- Woman who tries to sneak on planes arrested twice in 2 days
- Notorious New York escapee Sweat returns to prison
- Measles carries risk of deadly complication for young