South Korea

US soldier shot by police after Seoul car chase

PUBLISHED : Monday, 04 March, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 04 March, 2013, 4:56am

A US soldier was shot and injured by South Korean police after a dramatic car chase through Seoul early yesterday.

The unnamed 23-year-old Private First Class was shot in the shoulder shortly after midnight, Yonhap news agency said.

The agency and several other news outlets cited police in Yongsan district near the huge US military base in central Seoul. Media reports said police approached two soldiers in the Itaewon entertainment district after receiving complaints that the pair were apparently threatening passers-by with an air gun.

They reportedly fled, crashing into several other cars in a high-speed escape which continued for about 10 kilometres before the pair turned into a dead-end street.

The soldiers reportedly tried to ram their car into a police officer, prompting him to fire three shots at the car. They eventually fled to the US base.

The wounded soldier, who was driving the vehicle, was treated at the base and was said to be in stable condition. The Seoul police officer reportedly suffered a minor injury.

Video from another car - shown on a local TV station last night - showed the soldiers' vehicle driving at high speed past police officers. While fleeing, the servicemen damaged other cars, prompting officers from other stations to rush to the scene.

Police said they identified the soldiers with their vehicle licence plate number and called them to appear before officers for questioning by Monday.

"So far, no one has been reported shot by the American soldiers and an investigation is currently under way," said an officer at Yongsan Police Station.