A man has been charged in connection to the fatal shooting of a beloved Chinese food delivery worker in Queens in late April.
Glenn Hirsch, 51, was arrested in his home at 141st Street on Wednesday night and charged with murder and two counts of weapon possession, New York police announced.
Zhiwen Yan, 45, was making a delivery near 108th Street and 67th Drive at around 9:30 p.m. on April 30 when someone began firing shots in his direction.
The shooting took place about half a mile from the Great Wall restaurant where Yan had worked for over two decades.
Surveillance video shows Yan attempting to roll back his scooter from his assailant, but he was simply overpowered. Yan was shot in the chest and pronounced dead at Elmhurst Hospital.
Investigation into the incident led police to a man previously involved in “increasingly disturbing encounters” at Great Wall since November. Owner Kai Yang, 53, said the customer raged during a duck sauce dispute, which then led to his car being slashed multiple times. Restaurant staff caught the customer damaging the vehicle on Jan. 28. He allegedly pulled out a gun but was successfully tackled by employees, including Yan.
Subscribe to NextShark's Newsletter
A daily dose of Asian America's essential stories, in under 5 minutes.
Get our collection of Asian America's most essential stories to your inbox daily for free.
After the shooting, Yang informed police of the customer, who drove the same Lexus SUV that was spotted speeding from the scene. This led them to Hirsch, a man with a criminal record of 10 arrests — all sealed — between 1995 and 2012, who was confirmed as the customer.
Yan immigrated from China to the U.S. in 2001. He is survived by his wife, Kunying Zhao, and three young children.
Zhao said the city “owed me a husband” during a candlelight vigil last month. Following Hirsch’s arrest, she thanked the police and expressed her hopes for justice.
“We were all relieved that someone had been arrested. We are grateful to the NYPD and have full confidence that the Queens District Attorney will bring justice to Zhiwen Yan, a loving and kind husband, father, son, friend and community member,” Zhao said in a statement.
Yan worked multiple jobs to make ends meet. Community members are remembering him as a symbol.
“We’re all obviously a little shaken, he was someone that was very instrumental in the community. He was someone everyone knew and loved and he was kind of a symbol of community for the neighborhood,” Matthew Murray told NBC New York.
Many people might not know this, but NextShark is a small media startup that runs on no outside funding or loans, and with no paywalls or subscription fees, we rely on help from our community and readers like you.
Everything you see today is built by Asians, for Asians to help amplify our voices globally and support each other. However, we still face many difficulties in our industry because of our commitment to accessible and informational Asian news coverage.
We hope you consider making a contribution to NextShark so we can continue to provide you quality journalism that informs, educates, and inspires the Asian community. Even a $1 contribution goes a long way. Thank you for supporting NextShark and our community.