The Forest Hills community mourns the loss of Zhiwen Yan, a food delivery worker at Great Wall Chinese Restaurant, who is remembered by locals for his warm greetings of “Hello, my friend.”
Yan, who lived in Middle Village, was fatally shot on April 30 around 9:30 p.m. while riding his scooter on his way to deliver food at the intersection of 108th St. and 67th Dr. in Forest Hills.
The husband and father of three endured a gunshot wound to the chest which caused him to fall off his scooter.
EMS responded and transported Yan to NYC Health and Hospitals/Elmhurst where he was pronounced dead.
It is uncertain why he was not brought to Long Island Jewish Forest Hills, which is only three blocks away from where he was killed.
At the time of publication, no arrests were made in this case and the investigation remains ongoing.
Police say the current suspect is a 50-year-old customer who previously had issues with the restaurant staff because they once did not give him enough duck sauce.
He allegedly menaced Kai Yang, the restaurant’s owner, with a gun and vandalized his vehicle.
CBS New York reports that Yang gave the description of the customer’s car, a Lexus RX3 SUV, which matches the description of a car seen fleeing the murder scene.
Concerns in Forest Hills continue to rise as this is the second fatal crime to a neighbor that residents have seen in the community in recent weeks, following the murder of Orsolya Gaal.
Local elected officials and residents gathered with Yan’s family outside of their Middle Village home to mourn the community’s loss.
“This is a terrible and horrific tragedy and my heart aches for the victim’s loved ones. This delivery worker was working hard, trying to earn a living to support his family when he was senselessly shot and killed,” Congresswoman Grace Meng said in a statement.
“The incident underscores the need to combat gun violence throughout our city, and I am confident that the perpetrator will be apprehended.
The person responsible must face justice,” she continued. “My office will remain in touch with the 112th Precinct, and I will continue to be there for the family to provide any assistance they need.”
Two GoFundMe fundraisers have been widely shared in support of Yan’s wife and three children — one by a local resident named Frances
Kweller, and another by his wife, Eva Chao. To date, the two digital fundraisers raised a total of over $260,000.
No arrests have been made in this case, and the investigation remains ongoing.