Gap Suk Suh would have turned 60 years old yesterday. But instead of a celebration, relatives and friends of the electrician gathered on a Baltimore street with a plea to help catch his killer and offered thousands of dollars in reward money.
Suh, who was born in South Korea and immigrated to the United States 30 years ago, was fatally stabbed Nov. 6 in an apparent road-rage incident. The electrician was driving his van in the 500 block of W. Mulberry St. when it collided with a sport utility vehicle, causing minor damage, police said.
Suh and the driver of the other vehicle -- possibly a red or maroon Buick Rendezvous -- pulled over on the next block and got out to talk, police said. After an apparent argument, Suh was stabbed in the back and the SUV driver sped away, police said. Suh collapsed in the street and died.
He served in the Marines for three years when he was in his 20s, lived in Columbia and had a 14-year-old son, his family said. He was known in the Baltimore area's Korean community for the services he provided as an electrician and handyman to Korean businesses, helping fix air-conditioning and ventilation systems.
"My family keeps worrying about his future," Yoo Mi Suh, a younger sister of Suh, said about the teenage son he left behind. "So terrible, so terrible."
Patti Cho, who knew Suh for 25 years, said he often used his fluency in English and Korean to help business owners.
"He did work for many Koreans who needed help," said Cho. "He had a very good heart. He was a very good man for people who needed [help]."
David Han, president of the Korean Society of Maryland, said that Suh's family, with the help of donations from five Korean businesses, is offering a reward of $6,000 for information leading to the arrest and indictment of a suspect. Metro Crime Stoppers is offering a reward up to $2,000.
"We hope that this $8,000 will encourage someone to come forward," Han said.
Police detectives said a network of cameras in the area helped narrow down the sport utility vehicle's make and model, but they were not able to determine its license plate number. No witnesses have come forward to help police in the killing, which occurred in the middle of a busy city street shortly before noon.
Detective Christopher Bieling said investigators think the SUV might have sustained damage to its driver's-side rearview mirror and possibly the driver's door.
Bieling said he hopes that body shop owners in the Baltimore area will review their records to determine whether they worked on a Buick Rendezvous with that kind of damage in November or later and call police with any leads.