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Fairfax man slain in California leaves behind 'perfect family,' wife says

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By Tom Jackman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, July 27, 2010

On the day that Jinghong Kang was shot to death on a dark street in Oakland, Calif., after handing over $17, six students from China arrived at his home in Fairfax County, where they had planned to stay while studying the Bible at Kang's church in Dunn Loring.

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It wasn't unusual for Kang to host students at his house in the Fair Oaks area, although his wife, three children and mother also lived there, his wife said Monday. And it also wasn't surprising that when a man and a woman confronted Kang with a gun last week, he gave them what little money he had without hesitation.

He was shot anyway.

"It was kind of a perfect family, to me," Wang said, "but suddenly he got ripped away from us. It's such pain, and I believe the pain will be forever." The couple have three sons, ages 10, 12 and 17.

Oakland police officers said they think the case might be part of a string of street robberies committed in the downtown area by a man and a woman who were captured on a surveillance video camera shortly before Kang was shot at 11:30 p.m. July 18.

Kang, 45, worked for ITT but had traveled to California that day for a job interview the next morning with Google. He had gone for a late-night dental appointment in Oakland with a friend he knew through their church, his wife said. The friend was standing outside Kang's rental car, helping him with directions back to his hotel, when they were approached by the robbers, police said. The friend was not hurt.

"I should have told him not to go," Kang's wife said. "I didn't want to move; the kids didn't want to move. He said it was just a job interview. He'd go just to check it out."

Kang was the youngest of three children who were born and grew up in Beijing, his wife said. That's where they met.

Kang received a degree in physics in Beijing in 1990 and then moved to the United States to attend graduate school at Eastern Illinois University. Kang and Wang married in 1991, and they moved to Blacksburg, where Kang received a master's degree in electrical engineering and a doctorate in math from Virginia Tech.

The couple moved to Northern Virginia, where Kang worked as a network engineer for several companies, including Booz Allen Hamilton and, most recently, ITT. Kang lost his job at Booz Allen because he was unable to obtain a security clearance, possibly because of his Chinese heritage, his wife said. He had also been rejected for clearance at ITT.

A security clearance wouldn't be a problem at Google, Wang said. "He said the job really fit him," said Wang, a financial data analyst for Capital One. "He liked the weather in that area."

But the couple never really discussed moving to the Bay Area in any detail. They would do that when he got back.


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