The shooting death of a delivery driver for a New York Chinese restaurant may be linked to a sauce dispute, according to a report.
Zhiwen Yan, a 45-year-old deliveryman for the Great Wall restaurant in Forest Hills, was shot multiple times while waiting at an intersection Saturday evening, according to police. The owner, Kai Yang, told the New York Post about a customer who was outraged over the amount of duck sauce he received with an order in November and kept coming back to terrorize the food joint. This same person is wanted for questioning by detectives, law enforcement sources told the news outlet.
"He came in to pick up his order. We have duck sauce out — serve yourself," Yang said, noting the man had taken the entire bin of duck sauce and left before returning angry and demanding "more duck sauce."
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After providing more sauce, Yang said the man demanded a refund.
“I give him more. He say, ‘No, I want my money back,’” Yang told the news outlet. “I say, ‘Sorry, it’s COVID. I can’t take your order back after, and I give you more duck sauce.’ He calls police! They came. They ask me if I can refund his money. I say, ‘No, I cannot.’”
In the months that followed, Yang said the angry customer vandalized his car and slashed the tires multiple times.
"I start parking in front so I can see. We see him on Jan. 28 damaging the car, and I come out and say, 'No! No!" And he pulled a gun on me! I ran back inside. I call police [and] fill out report," Yang said.
During this incident, several employees, including Yan, managed to wrestle the customer to the ground, Yang recounted.
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
Yang said that despite calling the police "so many times," nothing was ever done. Sooi Chung, another employee at the restaurant confirmed Yang's accounts of the run-ins with the customer. Chung noted the man would sometimes be "waiting around outside."
Despite Yang's claims, the New York Police Department has said it does not believe that Yan was the intended target of the suspect, according to NY1 News. Yan, who was a Chinese immigrant, was taken to Elmhurst Hospital Center, where he was pronounced dead, the New York Times reported.
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The NYPD confirmed to the Washington Examiner that Yan was the dead individual at the scene officers responded to over the weekend. No arrests have been made regarding the incident, and the investigation is ongoing, the NYPD said.
Police said the suspect in the shooting fled the scene in a Lexus.
The Washington Examiner reached out to the Great Wall for further comment.