Wife of slain Chinese food delivery driver speaks out as NYPD investigates his death

Zhiwen Yan was shot in the chest Saturday while riding his scooter.

May 02, 2022, 4:52 PM

Police in New York City are investigating the shooting death of a Chinese food delivery worker, who was shot in the chest on Saturday while riding his scooter in the neighborhood of Forest Hills in Queens.

Zhiwen Yan, 45, worked at a Chinese restaurant in Queens called The Great Wall for more than a decade and had three jobs to support his family, ABC's New York station WABC reported.

Yan's wife, Kunying Zhao, spoke out in an emotional interview with WABC over the weekend and urged police to find her husband's killer.

"Somebody, somebody killed my husband, catch him, catch him," she said as she broke down in tears. The couple have a young daughter.

PHOTO: Kunying Zhao, wife of delivery worker Zhiwen Yan, speaks about the recent shooting death of her husband, May 1, 2022, in Queens, New York.
Kunying Zhao, wife of delivery worker Zhiwen Yan, speaks about the recent shooting death of her husband, May 1, 2022, in Queens, New York.
WABC

Upon arriving on the scene, police found Yan unconscious and unresponsive, and he was transported by an Emergency Medical Services vehicle to the NYC Health + Hospitals in Elmhurst, where he was pronounced dead.

The motive for the shooting is unclear, and no arrests have been made, police told ABC News.

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards said his office is in touch with the NYPD to ensure that Yan's family gets justice.

"No family deserves to experience the grief that Zhiwen Yan's family is feeling this morning. Our thoughts are with them and everyone in [Forest Hills] who loved him," he tweeted Monday.

New York City Council Member Julie Won also shared a message about Yan's death and expressed support for his family.

"Delivery workers should not be seen as faceless or expendable, but deserving of life - long, full, happy life," Won wrote in a series of tweets on Monday. "Delivery workers sit at the center of failed immigration, labor, transportation, and public safety systems that force a father like Yan Zhiwen to work 7 days a week, put his body and life on the line, and still live paycheck to paycheck."

Yan's death comes amid a spate of attacks targeting Asian Americans in New York City and across the nation.

Asked if Yan's killing was targeted, a spokesperson told ABC News on Monday that the investigation is ongoing.

The shooting also comes as New York City Mayor Eric Adams grapples with a surge in violent crime -- an issue that the new mayor highlighted in his first state of the city address on April 26.

Adams also met with top NYPD brass on Saturday to discuss strategies to crackdown on the rise in major crime.

PHOTO: New York City Mayor Eric Adams gives a speech, April 26, 2022 in New York City.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams gives a speech, April 26, 2022 in New York City.
Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

Major crime in NYC is up 41.60% this year through the week of May 1, compared to the same time last year, and so far, shootings this year through the week of May are up 4% from the same time last year and up 85% from 2020, according to NYPD statistics.

Adams rolled out the "Blueprint to End Gun Violence" -- a plan that lays out policy proposals to address the crisis -- in January.

Asked about the rise in major crime, Adams told ABC News Live's "GMA3" on April 25 that addressing the problem is "my responsibility."

"I believe, as I stated, public safety and justice, they are the prerequisite to prosperity. And I'm the mayor of the City of New York. I must have a safe city in order to turn around our economy and to make people feel safe about their city," Adams told ABC News anchor T.J. Holmes. "But we do need help. I say this over and over again. There are many rivers that feed the sea of violence."

Adams told WABC in February that part of his plan to tackle gun violence is cracking down on "illegal gun dealers that are flowing into our cities." He also announced a new anti-gun unit through officers from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

President Joe Biden visited New York City in February, where he met with Adams and pledged federal support to target gun traffickers and crack down on ghost guns.

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