Cops: He Flew 1K Miles to Attack Gamer He Met Online

Edward Kang, 20, charged with attempted murder following hammer attack
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 25, 2024 7:20 AM CDT
Cops: He Flew 1K Miles to Attack Gamer He Met Online
Edward Kang   (Nassau County Sheriff's Office)

A video gamer allegedly flew from New Jersey to Florida to smash an online opponent's head with a hammer. Authorities say the pair had never met in person before 20-year-old Edward Kang turned up at the victim's home in Fernandina Beach late Saturday or early Sunday wearing black clothes, gloves, and a mask, and carrying a flashlight and hammer, per ABC News. Kang allegedly entered the home through an unlocked door, then attacked the victim as he got up from his gaming chair. "This is a weird one," Nassau County Sheriff Bill Leeper said at a Monday press briefing, per WJXT. "Some things you can't make up."

The victim, of a similar age as Kang, sustained "severe" head wounds but was able to wrestle his assailant to the ground with help from a stepfather, who'd heard his screams, Leeper said. The victim and stepfather held Kang until deputies arrived, finding "a significant amount of blood in the entryway of the home and the victim's bedroom," the sheriff noted. The victim was hospitalized but has since been released. Leeper said both he and Kang were players of the Korean online role-playing game ArcheAge and had apparently gotten into an "online altercation." Kang allegedly told deputies the victim is a "bad person online."

It's unclear how he knew how to find the man. But, intending to kill him, he flew from Newark to Jacksonville, then traveled to a hardware store where he bought the claw hammer and flashlight, Leeper said, citing receipts found in a hotel room. The victim said he got up to use the washroom and saw Kang standing with a hammer in an "anticipated strike position," per First Coast News. Upon arrest, Kang allegedly asked how much jail time he should expect. "I would say, Mr. Kang, it will be a long time before you play video games," Leeper said. Kang is held on charges of attempted second-degree murder and armed burglary. Leeper noted the charges could be upgraded. (More Florida stories.)

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