Another Man Killed Delivering Asian Takeout Food in Southeast

By Allison Klein
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, November 14, 2007

A restaurant deliveryman was fatally shot Sunday as he brought food to a home in Southeast Washington -- the second such killing in the District in recent months.

Hong Zhi Wang, 29, was delivering food at 10:30 p.m. Sunday in the 1300 block of Barnaby Terrace when he was shot in the neck, authorities said.

Wang, a native of China who lived in Springfield, died Monday. Police have not made any arrests.

The killing came less than three months after another deliveryman from an Asian carryout restaurant was robbed and killed in Southeast Washington, police said.

"This raises concern for members of the Asian community," said Sgt. Brett Parson, who oversees the department's specialized squads, including the Asian Liaison Unit. "My folks from Asian liaison are redoubling efforts to reach out to carryout workers, telling them to trust their gut if they feel something is not right."

Officers are passing out fliers with safety tips in several languages, including Vietnamese, Chinese and Korean, Parson said.

In the first killing, Ling Mao, 36, was found fatally shot at 11:55 p.m. Sept. 1 at Savannah Street and Ridgecrest Court SE, police said. A suspect was arrested in that case.

Police provided few details about this weekend's killing, saying it remains under investigation. Wang's relatives said they understood that he was robbed in the attack and that he probably had been followed just before the shooting.

Wang moved to New York in 1999 from the northern region of China, according to his family. He met his wife in New York, and the two married in 2004.

The year after he married, he moved to the Washington area to work at China Cafe on Southern Avenue in Prince George's County, said Jeanny Ho, who works with the Chinese community in the District. Ho, who was helping the victim's family yesterday, said the restaurant belonged to a friend of Wang's.

Wang had previous trouble on the job, Ho said. Two months ago, he was robbed, and his wife asked him to find another line of work, Ho said.

"His wife told him, 'Don't go back there because it's dangerous,' " Ho said. "He said he thinks it's a good job because the pay is good."

Wang left his family in New York to work in Washington, but visited them as often as possible, said Jin Hhui Chen, his wife's uncle. Wang and his wife had two children: one is 2 years old and the other is 2 months old.

"When he wasn't working, he would go to New York to take his kids shopping," Chen said through an interpreter. The uncle described Wang as an "open-minded and really happy person."

Chen issued a plea for police and the community to help find his nephew's killer. "We want police to catch the suspect," Chen said. "It's important in Chinese culture to hold someone accountable. The victim will not be peaceful until that happens."

Police are offering a reward of up to $25,000 for information that leads to an arrest and conviction. Authorities urged anyone with information to call police at 202-727-9099.

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