Queens man who killed family and self left money for funeral, NYPD says

September 11, 2014
Lee Jong-hoon, 50, killed his family and himself and set his Queens apartment on fire Tuesday.

Lee Jong-hoon, 50, killed his family and himself and set his Queens apartment on fire Tuesday.

The Queens man who killed his family and set fire to their apartment before taking his own life Tuesday left money for the family’s funeral, a New York Police Department source told The Korea Times.

Cash was left next to a suicide note, in which Lee Jong-hoon, 50, requested that the money be used for funeral services, the source said. It is unknown how much money he left.

The note, written on white paper, was written with a steady hand but was covered in blood, according to the source.

“I’ve brought on too many problems that I can’t handle, and if I leave alone the burden on my wife and son would be too much, so we’re all going together. Please use this money for our funeral services,” Lee wrote in Korean.

Police are currently investigating the incident, which started Tuesday when firefighters were alerted of a fire at a Flushing apartment on Roosevelt Avenue. Inside, firefighters discovered three dead bodies with stab wounds belonging to Lee, his wife, Lee Sung-hae, 54, and their son, Brian Lee, 16.

It appeared Lee Jong-hoon had killed them with a knife, also found at the scene, before setting the apartment ablaze and slashing his own throat, police said.

He was a truck driver, while his wife worked at a nail salon. Their son attended Brooklyn Technical High School.

Friends and colleagues are having difficulty grasping the incident.

“He drove a trailer truck and did express that he was struggling because of reduced work, but I know it definitely wasn’t to that extent,” a friend and member of Lee’s golf gathering said in a phone interview. “He never mentioned debt, and he never mentioned problems with gambling despite rumors going around.”

The source said he had known Lee for 20 years and said they had traveled to Cancun, Mexico together in February to play golf.

“If there were any signs of strangeness, we would have known first,” the source said.

Lee Jong-hoon immigrated to the United States in his twenties. He was working at a Flushing market when he met his wife and married her, the source said.

Pig-Tainer Trucking, where Lee worked eight to 10 hours each day for the past 10 years, also fell into shock upon hearing the news.

A female employee at the company said Lee was a reliable person and that no one could have imagined what happened. All the employees are in shock, she said.

Police said they contacted Lee Sung-hae’s cousin, who will arrive in New York to take care of funeral services.