May 2, 2022 By Christian Murray
The Forest Hills community remains in shock two days after a Chinese food delivery man was shot and killed while working in the neighborhood Saturday night.
Zhiwen Yan, 45, was on his scooter when he was fatally shot in the chest near the intersection of 108th Street and 67th Drive at around 9:30 p.m. Saturday, according to police. He was making a delivery for the Great Wall Restaurant, located at 104-37 Queens Boulevard, and had a bag of food in his possession when he was hit. The police have not made any arrests.
Yan had worked for the Great Wall for more than a decade and was a recognizable face in the community. By Sunday, residents had established a memorial for him outside the restaurant that was closed Sunday. Residents left flowers outside and said that he was well liked.
Meanwhile, in Middle Village, where Yan lived, elected officials and community leaders visited his widow, Eva Zhao, Sunday to try and console her. He leaves behind a wife and three kids, ages 2, 12 and 14.
“This is a terrible and horrific tragedy and my heart aches for the victim’s loved ones,” said Congressmember Grace Meng, who visited the Middle Village house. “This delivery worker was working hard, trying to earn a living to support his family when he was senselessly shot and killed. The incident underscores the need to combat gun violence throughout our city.”
Yan had immigrated from China in 2001. He had worked delivering food for the Great Wall for more than a decade and had several jobs.
“My husband wakes up every day and just works,” Zhao told the NY Post through a translator Sunday. “He works so hard,” she said.
“I keep crying,” Zhao said, who had been married to Yan for seven years. “He meant everything to me. He took good care of me and the family,” she told the NY Post.
Two GoFundMe pages had been set out for the family, with one established by Forest Hills mom Frances Kweller that had already raised more than $100,000 within 24 hours. Meanwhile, another GoFundMe, put together by a relative, had raised more than $30,000.
Police are scouring video of the area and believe that he was hit by a bullet meant for someone else.
However, according to the NYPost, police are also looking into a disgruntled customer who had issues with the restaurant.
The community, however, was largely focused on Yan’s passing and trying to make sense of how the murder could have taken place.
“The victim of this horrific crime was known throughout our communities, and his memory will be a blessing to all who knew him,” said State Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky, Assemblymember Andrew Hevesi and Council Member Lynn Schulman in a joint statement.
“With the investigation underway, we are maintaining contact with the 112th Precinct and thank our officers for their response. Make no mistake, this perpetrator will be found, and will face justice to its fullest extent.”
Surveillance video shows Yan getting on his scooter after delivering food to an apartment complex. He pulls out onto 108th street when someone walks up to him and shoots him in the chest. Suspect drives off in a light gray or tan Lexus eastbound on 67 Drive. pic.twitter.com/U3MuDwTnPa
— Christina Fan (@Christinafantv) May 1, 2022