Teenager who died in shopping centre fall was Korean student who dreamed of becoming vet

This Is Local London: Joon Kyu Kim, 15, died after falling inside the Bentall Centre Joon Kyu Kim, 15, died after falling inside the Bentall Centre

The teenager who died after falling from a balcony staircase inside the Bentall Centre yesterday afternoon was a Coombe Boys' School pupil from Kingston.

Joon Kyu Kim, 15, is believed to have fallen from the top floor of the shopping centre in Kingston town centre just before 5pm yesterday.

Shoppers were led out of the building and police cordoned off the area.

Joon, whose family are Korean, attended Coombe Boys’ School and had recently completed his GCSE exams.

He died at St George’s Hospital at about 6.15pm yesterday.

His family were told of his death.

Coombe Boys' school was open today for a mufti-day before pupils were due to be sent home at 12.30pm for the end of term.

A friend said: “He was a person full of aspirations and had a lot of goals ahead of him.

"He was saving up money to buy a personal computer as he was an avid gamer, was academically adequate but sought to improve himself by extended revision.

“His dream was to become a vet, setting his bar to study at the University of Surrey. He was a great boy and that's what aches my heart.

“He would go to the Apple Store [in the Bentall Centre] and use their Macbooks to play Minecraft.

"We always used to see him there after school wearing his school uniform."

Councillor Andrea Craig, Kingston Council's lead for children, youth and adult learning, said: "This is a terrible tragedy and our thoughts and prayers need to go out to the family and friends of him at this time."

Deborah Walls, headteacher of Coombe Boys School, said: "We are deeply shocked by the tragic loss of  one of our students and our thoughts are with Joon’s family and friends.

"Joon was an asset to the school, an incredibly hard working student who contributed a lot to his peers and his year group.  We will remember him with great fondness and affection.  

"This is a terribly sad and difficult time for all of us. Pupils, staff and parents are helping each other and being given all the support they need at this difficult time."

A post-mortem examination is due to take place next week, West London Coroner’s Court confirmed.

Kingston police are still investigating the circumstances surrounding Joon’s death, which is being treated as non-suspicious.

Did you know Joon Kyu Kim? Call the newsdesk on 020 8722 6321 or email ndewji@london.newsquest.co.uk.

If you are affected by the issues in this story, you can speak to Samaritans on 0845 7909090, or visit the Kingston branch in Andrews Road, Surbiton.

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