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Man killed in Fort Worth shooting identified as ‘pillar’ of Dallas’ Asian community

Dallas Morning News logo Dallas Morning News 8/19/2022 Jamie Landers, Nataly Keomoungkhoun, The Dallas Morning News
Jin Shin in May at Encore Family Karaoke in Dallas. © Shafkat Anowar/The Dallas Morning News/TNS Jin Shin in May at Encore Family Karaoke in Dallas.

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The man killed in Fort Worth this week after a traffic accident spurred a shooting has been identified as Chin “Jin” Shin — the owner of Encore Family Karaoke, co-owner of the DanSungSa Korean restaurant’s Dallas location and a “pillar” of Dallas’ Asian community.

Authorities responded to a call about an accident at the intersection of the southbound lanes of South University Drive and Interstate 30 about 2:45 a.m. Monday, where police learned Shin had been shot after an argument escalated into gunfire.

The Tarrant County medical examiner’s office confirmed Shin, 43, died from gunshot wounds. Fort Worth police said Wednesday they were still “interviewing all involved subjects”; authorities have not announced any arrests.

Shin was born in South Korea before immigrating to the United States in 1983, and grew up in various parts of Louisiana and North Carolina before moving to Texas. He graduated from Berkner High School in Richardson, served as a Marine and earned a business degree from Western Governors University.

Those who knew Shin told The Dallas Morning News he was a supportive, kind, big-hearted, fun-spirited man with an “iconic Chewbacca call” and a lifelong commitment to giving back.

‘Making waves’

Donny Sirisavath, the chef behind Darkoo’s Chicken Shack, had been friends with Shin for about 10 years and described him as a goofball who got along with everyone.

”He could have a conversation about anything and everything,” Sirisavath said. “He was just a fun-spirited person.”

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Sirisavath said Shin reached out to him with an idea to help him and other businesses. The idea was to create a collaborative pop-up in which businesses took over Encore Family Karaoke’s kitchen to help keep each other afloat.

“On that day, he was like, ‘If you guys ever need help, I’m always here for you,’” Sirisavath said. “He was never a selfish guy.”

Angela Nguyen, a close friend of Shin, said he had a wonderful singing voice. One of her favorite songs he sang was Tracy Chapman’s “Give Me One Reason.”

“It gives me shivers just to hear him sing it,” she said. “I’m gonna miss that voice so much.”

Peng Dang of Arlington said he had been friends with Shin, whom he described as a “pillar of Dallas’ Asian community,” since Shin came out to support him at a comedy show just over a year ago.

“He came up to me and said, ‘Hey, I just saw your face on the poster, and to come out and support a fellow Asian,’” Dang said. “He really felt we didn’t support our own in Dallas enough, and he wanted to change that. He was just a very kind person who had a really big heart for everybody.”

Dang saw Shin on Sunday night, just hours before he was killed, and said he was heartbroken he didn’t know that goodbye would be their last.

“He was very positive about the future when I saw him,” Dang said. “He was just starting to see the impact — that Korean culture is making waves in America and right here in Dallas. And he was very proud of it, because he had been working on it for a long time.”

May Naing Joe, a former partner of Shin, described him as a huge foodie who enjoyed singing and talking to people. He maintained many friendships throughout his life and had a niece and nephew who adored him, she said.

Joe and Shin had a 14-year-old daughter together. Joe said Shin devoted a lot of his time to his relationship with her and that he often visited her during lunch hours when she was in elementary school and took her food.

“I am broken that he was robbed of his life like this and Ella and I are robbed,” Joe said. “Ella is robbed of a father and all that she could have with him. I lost mine at age 12 to an accident, for Ella to have to repeat the curse is killing me.”

Joe said Shin’s family is frustrated with the lack of communication from Fort Worth police and said the details of the incident aren’t clear. While she understands that investigators need time to work, Joe said she doesn’t want the case to be forgotten or go cold.

“I don’t want his case to be shoved under a big pile of other cases, like just another road rage,” she said. “I don’t want that.”

Giving back

After the May 11 shooting at Hair World Salon in northwest Dallas, which police later deemed a hate crime against the Asian community of North Texas, Shin told The News he was planning to buy his third 9 mm pistol to protect his staff, customers and fellow community members.

“We’re not going to just sit on our butts and be scared. We’re preparing,” he said then. “We’ve got to protect ourselves. This is Texas. We’re allowed to.”

Both of Shin’s establishments experienced “a significant drop” in business after the shooting, with Shin estimating a 50% loss at DanSungSa alone.

Still, Shin focused on raising money for the shooting victims. His GoFundMe made nearly $3,000, and Shin vowed to donate 10% more on top of that.

A GoFundMe account to cover Shin’s funeral expenses and his family’s legal fees to achieve a “thorough investigation and appropriate justice” has raised more than $40,000. Any leftover funds will go to his daughter, the fundraiser said.

©2022 The Dallas Morning News. Visit dallasnews.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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