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(LEAD) SHINee member Jonghyun dies in apparent suicide: police

2017/12/18 20:44

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(ATTN: RECASTS lead; UPDATES with more details throughout)

SEOUL, Dec. 18 (Yonhap) -- Kim Jong-hyun, singer of popular K-pop group SHINee, died Monday in an apparent suicide, police said. He was 28.

Kim, better known by his stage name Jonghyun, was found unconscious at a rented apartment studio in Cheongdam-dong, southern Seoul, around 6:10 p.m., according to police. Kim's sister made the initial call to 119 responders at 4:42 p.m. reporting that she believed her brother was committing suicide.

The singer was moved to a nearby hospital but was later pronounced dead, police said. Kim arrived at the hospital under cardiac arrest and received emergency CPR treatment but failed to regain consciousness.

Investigators believe he died from inhaling toxic fumes, as they discovered coal briquettes burnt on a frying pan upon arriving at the apartment.

The sister who made the initial report received a text message from the singer saying, "Please let me go. Tell me I did well," "Final farewell," suggesting that he was about to take his own life.

Kim debuted in May 2008 as the main singer of SHINee under S.M. Entertainment, South Korea's biggest music label and entertainment agency, and has boasted a nearly decade-long prolific career not just in group activities but as a solo singer-songwriter. Kim's last public appearance was at his solo concert, titled "Inspired," from Dec. 9-10 in Seoul.

A file photo of Jonghyun, member of K-pop group SHINee, who has died on Dec. 18, 2017. (Yonhap) A file photo of Jonghyun, member of K-pop group SHINee, who has died on Dec. 18, 2017. (Yonhap)