CBSN

Hate Crime Victim Mourned

More than 1,000 people attended a memorial service in Bloomington, Ind., Monday, for a Korean-American killed in the two-day shooting rampage of a white supremacist. Authorities said Benjamin Smith also killed a former basketball coach outside Chicago and wounded nine other people -- all of them black, Jewish or Asian.

Correspondent Glenn Augustine of CBS Affiliate WISH-TV in Indianapolis reports that many of those at the service hadn't heard of Won-Joon Yoon, 26, before his death. But Monday night, they vowed never to forget it.

"I want to be with my community to stand against this kind of tragedy," Debarah Galyan, 21, said as she headed into the funeral services. "You can't have this sense of detachment anymore. You have to stand up and say no."

"Haters are cowards," Attorney General Janet Reno told the mourners. "When confronted, they usually back down. And if they don't back down, you must continue to confront them."

Yoon, the only son among four children, came to Bloomington after earning a master's degree in economics. His goal was to earn a doctorate and become a teacher. He was shot outside the Korean United Methodist Church.

"I'm not able to find adequate words to bring any comfort to you and to all of us this moment," said the Rev. Kil-Sang Yoon, not a relative of the victim. "I have come to this beautiful town to cry with you."

Yoon's mother lit a candle of remembrance and his father held aloft a bible. A cousin said Yoon bought this bible for his grandmother; she gave it back and told him to study it. Now his death is a case study for those who want to study and punish the perpetrators of hate crimes.

"His battle can't be fought in law books, it must be fought in our hearts and it must be fought because of this young man," said Reno, to the applause of the audience.

When hate-crime killer Smith handed out his flyers last year, people in Bloomington formed a group to fight hate. Augustine reports they now say Yoon's death will strengthen their resolve, not deter them.

[For more information related to this story, see America's New Culture of Hate?]