SEOUL, June 23 (Xinhua) -- The fugitive South Korean solider, who fled after killing five comrades in a shooting spree Saturday night, was captured alive on Monday afternoon after attempting to commit suicide with his rifle, the Defense Ministry said.
Defense Ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok told a press briefing that the armed deserter attempted to kill himself by firing shots at his own body between his left shoulder and chest with his K-2 gun at about 2:55 p.m. when his father and brother were persuading him to surrender.
The runaway Army sergeant, identified only by his surname Lim, has been pleaded with to turn himself in to the military from 8:20 a.m., the spokesman said.
The 22-year-old attempted suicide after standing face-to-face with trailing troops for decades of hours in a region some 7 km east of the scene where the shooting rampage occurred.
Lim was being taken to a nearby hospital, and the injury was not threatening his life yet. He was known to have consciousness, but continue bleeding.
The sergeant, who was serving sentry at the Demilitarized Zone, fired around 10 shots at his fellow soldiers at about 8:15 p.m. Saturday, killing five and wounding seven others.
Given the small number of bullets used for the casualties, Lim was suspected of aiming at the victims rather than shooting at random.
The motive for the accident has been unknown. The Army investigation headquarters will probe into the shooting incident.
Lim was on the list of soldiers requiring more attention than others. He was to be discharged in September this year.
One more soldier was injured in a gun battle between searching troops and Lim Sunday, and another serviceman received a bullet wound earlier in the day on a mistaken shot between trailing troops.
The firing rampage took place at a general outpost of the 22nd Infantry Division in Goseong, a northeastern town in Gangwon Province bordering the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) . The border town is some 220 km northeast of Seoul.