Officer Sonny Kim: Sensei, father, hero - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Officer Sonny Kim: Sensei, father, hero

Students called him Sensei Kim. (Photo courtesy of Vinson Lewis) Students called him Sensei Kim. (Photo courtesy of Vinson Lewis)

“Today we mourn a true hero.”

That's how what Cincinnati Fraternal Order of Police President Kathy Herrel described the police officer killed in the line of duty on Friday.

Sonny Kim, 48, served the Cincinnati community as a District 2 officer for 27 years.

Aside from his day job, Kim owned a karate studio in Symmes Township where he taught adults, teens and children.

In 2005, FOX19 NOW spoke with Kim at his studio, Japanese Karate-Do, where he described the joys of working with children.

“You can give them so much more. The lessons they learn in the dojo or training, they can take it out and they can use it in other things," said Kim.

“Sensei Kim was a light, a light that we were all drawn to like moths to a flame. His light shined in a way that the willing could not unsee it. We had to go there, his energy and experience forced the action,” Kim's student wrote on the karate studio's web site.

Kim leaves behind a wife and three sons who attended Loveland City Schools. The district called him a valued member of the community and will hold a 6 p.m. vigil on Saturday outside the Middle School.

On December 12, 1987, Sonny joined Cincinnati police as a recruit. He was promoted to police officer on May 1, 1988.

He was a resident of Madisonville, the same neighborhood where he lost his life in the line of duty.

"He made the ultimate sacrifice doing what he was brought to the world to do," said Captain Jeffrey Butler.

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