CLOVER HILL — Like many of Clover Hill’s residents, couple Will Black and Heather Dean shopped at the Dry River Store daily.
The news that the store’s owner, Jae Young Kim, 54, had been brutally beaten, and his wife, Eun Sim Kim, shot and killed Saturday night during an apparent robbery left the rural community devastated.
“They were very nice people,” said Dean, 23, who started a fundraising drive to help defray medical and funeral expenses for the family. “There’s not a day that I don’t remember that I wasn’t greeted with a smile on their face.”
Dean set up an account on gofundme.com hoping to raise $5,000 for the Kims, who were familiar faces not only in Clover Hill but also in Harrisonburg, where they lived. Dean said she wanted to relieve some of the burden from the Kims’ children.
“I don’t want them to have to worry about the medical bills,” Dean said.
Jae Young Kim remains in critical condition at the University of Virginia Medical Center in Charlottesville as of tonight.
The investigation into the attack began at about 5:30 p.m. Saturday when emergency crews responded to the store at 1228 Clover Hill Road. Someone called 911 and said the couple had been found on the floor.
Deputies say a “slender, black man” who was seen on surveillance video entering the store, attacked the couple.
Police say the suspect was wearing a green vest with a red shirt underneath. He fled on foot toward Roberson Road, according to authorities, and may have left the area in a dark-colored Toyota sedan, according to deputies
Police have received numerous tips and leads since the sheriff’s office released the suspect’s photo to the media.
“We’re still following up on the leads and organizing the evidence,” Hutcheson said. “It’s very busy. It’s an ongoing process.”
Dean started the fund drive Monday night. By morning, more than $700 had been donated; by the afternoon, it had risen to $1,600.
She said she was surprised by the amount of the donations.
“I actually started to cry because so many people were willing to help,” said Dean, who added that a silent auction, bake sale and benefit bingo are being planned by others in the community.
To contribute, visit gofundme.com and type Raising for the Kims in the search field at top left.
Contact Pete DeLea at 574-6278 or firstname.lastname@example.org