2 kids lost to Montgomery Co. murder-suicide remembered at vigil

SILVER SPRING, Md. — Teachers and classmates gathered on Friday night to remember two Silver Spring children whose lives were cut short by a Sept. 17 murder-suicide.

Ten-year-old Andy and 11-year-old Mina Kim were the youngest of four family members who died as a result of what police said was a murder-suicide at their home in the Colesville area.

On Sept. 17, police believe their father, Yong Mun Kim, shot the children, their mother and a 22-year-old woman believed to be his stepdaughter.

He then shot and killed himself. 

Mina Kim died in the hospital a few days later. At last check, the young woman — the sole survivor — was still hospitalized, listed in stable condition.

The vigil was held outside Westover Elementary School, where Andy Kim was attending classes before his death. Mina Kim went to Argyle Middle School.

“Tonight was a night to remember, to honor, to celebrate two beautiful lives that were taken from us far too soon,” Westover principal Audra Wilson said after the event, which drew dozens to the school’s parking lot.

Wilson started her job July 1. She went on to say, “What I’ve heard is that they were both very painfully shy to start, and by being wrapped around and embraced by the amazing staff here, started to gradually come out of their shells.”

Their first language: Korean.

“English was hard at first, but they persisted,” Wilson said. “The fact that Mina was the face of our news network tells you just how much she grew into herself, to be able to broadcast live to the entire school the news of the day.”

Before the vigil, some people placed flowers and other mementos under the school’s wooden sign. On a table, flameless candles sat in front of photos of Mina and Andy Kim and some of their artwork. Those who knew them say both brother and sister loved to draw.

During the event, teachers shared memories of the children, and at the end, adults and kids sang “Lean on Me.”

Wilson said the school made psychologists and counselors available to students who wanted to talk about what happened. Kids are still being encouraged to share their memories and feelings.

“It’s been a rough two weeks but, when you come together like this, it starts … to begin healing the pain,” Wilson said.

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