A man walks out of Frank’s Liquor on East Broadway near Alamitos Friday, Feb. 4, 2022. Photo by Brandon Richardson.

The Long Beach Police Department is still on the lookout for a man who stabbed the owner of a liquor store near Downtown over the weekend. But in the meantime, the local community has rallied in support of the victim.

At around 11:50 a.m. on Sunday, according to a police report, an unidentified man entered Frank’s Liquor and stabbed owner Kim Lee multiple times. The man fled on foot before officers responded to the scene. Lee was admitted to St. Mary Medical Center that day and underwent surgery for serious but not life-threatening injuries.

Kevin Voravong—who lives in the same building Frank’s Liquor occupies—said that according to Lee’s husband, she now has partial paralysis, and doctors are estimating she’ll need at least a month to recover.

Lee’s husband declined to comment for this story.

Voravong, meanwhile, has started a GoFundMe in support of Lee with a goal of $10,000. He launched the online fundraiser on Wednesday, and the page had racked up over $3,000 in donations as of Friday afternoon.

Voravong said that Lee’s kindness to him over the years inspired him to help.

“She’s awesome, man,” he said. “Just the nicest, sweetest lady.”

Voravong has lived in the building since the Lees moved in and remembers how generous the couple has been to him in his time frequenting the store.

“She would be cooking dinner, and me and my friend Andrew would go downstairs to get snacks and a beer, and she would say ‘Wait, wait,’ and go to the back,” Voravong recalled. “She would go back there for two minutes, and would come back out with the most delicious Korean food. Rice, cabbage, kimchi, pork. It’s just amazing.”

Voravong also noted the long hours and hard work that the couple have put in to keep the store running smoothly to support themselves.

“They open that shop at 10 a.m., and then would be there until 10, 10:30 at night. So they are there like clockwork, working so hard just trying to cover their rent,” Voravong said.

“We are crushed that this happened to her. It’s just unbelievable.”

Voravong said he hopes the GoFundMe can provide some cushion and relief during Lee’s recovery.

“I want to be able to go in there and say, ‘Hey, the community wants to help you out,’” Voravong said. “Whatever he uses the money for, we just want them to know that we are thinking about them.”

LBPD is requesting anyone with information about the stabbing to contact the department’s Violent Crimes Detail at 562-570-7250 or submit an anonymous tip to LA Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477 or by visiting lacrimestoppers.org.

Christian May-Suzuki

Christian May-Suzuki is a reporter at the Long Beach Business Journal.

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