A 14-year-old Oakland high school student was charged with murder and robbery today for allegedly causing the death of a store owner in a violent confrontation over two bottles of vodka. The boy, whose name was not disclosed because he is a juvenile, made his initial appearance in Alameda County Juvenile Court in San Leandro this afternoon and is scheduled to return to court on June 16 for a pretrial hearing, according to senior deputy district attorney Allison Danzig.
The boy’s attorney, John McDougall, was not immediately available for comment. The youth was charged as a juvenile, not as an adult, Danzig said. Authorities said 57-year-old Dong Suk Kang died after suffering a heart attack following a confrontation with the boy at the Oak Knoll Market at 7980 Mountain Blvd. in Oakland on Tuesday morning. Authorities said it appears that Kang’s heart attack was triggered by the anxiety he experienced during the incident.
Danzig said authorities do not think that the boy intended to cause Kang to die but under felony murder rules that is legally irrelevant. She said if someone dies during the course of a violent crime, such as a robbery, the suspect is responsible for the victim’s death. Authorities said the incident occurred after the boy, who had previously been banned from the store for knocking over display cases and causing other problems, entered the store on Tuesday morning and Kang saw him take two bottles of vodka.
The boy, who was accompanied by two teenage girls, was supposed to be at the nearby Youth Empowerment School, a small high school, at the time. Kang tried to stop the boy, but a violent pushing and shoving match began and the boy eventually fled the store, authorities said. Kang got into his car to follow the juvenile but Kang lost consciousness a few blocks away and his car swerved to a stop. He died at Highland Hospital in Oakland.
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