Kim Jong Hyun last seen alive at convenience store

SHINee frontman Kim Jong Hyun was found unconscious in an apartment in a residential hotel in Gangnam district.
SHINee frontman Kim Jong Hyun was found unconscious in an apartment in a residential hotel in Gangnam district.PHOTO: LAUNCH ENTERTAINMENT

SEOUL • SHINee singer Kim Jong Hyun was last seen alive on Monday, when he visited a convenience store, broadcaster SBS reported.

The 27-year-old, who killed himself, was discovered unconscious in an apartment in a residential hotel in Cheongdam-dong, Gangnam district, at about 6.10pm (5.10pm Singapore time).

His sister had called emergency responders at 4.42pm, after he sent her text messages alluding to a "final farewell" and she said she thought he might be attempting suicide.

He was taken to Asan Medical Centre and pronounced dead.

In CCTV footage released by SBS on Tuesday, Kim, wearing a padded jacket over a black hoodie, is seen stopping by the shop on the first floor of the hotel, reports said.

The owner of the store said the singer bought a packet of cigarettes, a fizzy drink and a few snacks, website Koreaboo reported. It was not Kim's first time staying at the building, the owner added.

According to website allkpop, Kim visited the shop right after he texted his sister.

A security guard who saw the singer leave the store also spoke to the media.

The guard was quoted by Koreaboo as saying: "After parking his car on the B1 floor, he stood in front of the convenience store on the same floor for a very long time."

After Kim checked in, he got into his car and drove back and forth on the road in front of the building, "making a lot of noise", the guard said. "He was stepping on the accelerator so hard that the engine was making very loud noises. After a while, things got quiet and then the car came back in."

In a note to his friend, Dear Cloud singer Nine9, which was released after his death, Kim had written about his struggles with depression. He also seemed to regret his life in the limelight.

"Becoming famous was probably not my life," he wrote.

"They tell me that's why I'm having a hard time. Why did I choose that? It's funny that I'm able to endure this much."

In the wake of his death, K-pop stars including boyband EXO and girl group Twice are postponing music releases and withdrawing from activities, The Korea Herald reported. His burial service will be held on Thursday.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 21, 2017, with the headline 'Kim Jong Hyun last seen alive at convenience store'. Print Edition | Subscribe