A man in New York City, arrested for killing a Chinese food delivery worker Yan Zhiwen, has been found dead at home on August 5.
Failed to appear for a hearing
According to the New York Post, 51-year-old Glenn Hirsch was arrested in June for Yan's death, and he was charged with multiple offences including murder and weapons possession.
He was found dead at his home, apparently as the result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, after not appearing for a hearing at the Queens Supreme Court.
Queens is a borough of New York City.
Hirsch had maintained his innocence since his arrest, sending his lawyers a note by email before his death denying responsibility for Yan's death.
His note also tried to absolve his estranged wife of weapons possession charges. She had also been arrested in June after eight handguns were seized from her house in a police raid.
In his note Hirsch took responsibility for the weapons, saying the guns belonged to him and that his wife did not know about them. The couple lived separately.
His note also said that Hirsch believed he would be sent back to jail because of the weapons charges he faced, and that he was not willing to be incarcerated nor did he wish to fight the weapons charges from jail.
"He killed my brother"
Hirsch was accused of killing Yan on April 30, allegedly walking up to him as Yan was on his scooter and shooting him. Yan worked for Great Wall Restaurant, one of several jobs that Yan had taken to support his family.
Hirsch was accused of having feuded with the restaurant and its owner, Ken Yang, since 2021; apparently over an insufficient amount of sweet duck sauce provided with a takeaway order.
Yang had tried to placate him but Hirsch angrily demanded a refund, even trying to get the police involved.
After the April incident, Hirsch had allegedly menaced Yang and his employees; slashing the tires of Yang's car and even threatening restaurant employees with a gun at one point. Despite this, police had failed to take action until the fatal shooting.
After Hirsch's June arrest, sources inside the NYPD told the New York Daily News that they had found Hirsch's refrigerator "filled with duck sauce".
Yang himself lamented Hirsch's death, saying that in Yan's death he had lost "[his] brother, a member of [his] family". The New York Post quoted him as saying he wanted Hirsch to admit to the killing in court, and that he wanted Hirsch to "go to jail forever".
Yan left behind a wife and two small children when he died. He was known in his community as a hard worker and a friendly face, with many community members leaving tributes for him after his murder.
Touching memorial in front of Great Wall for Zhiwen Yan. So many handwritten notes say “my friend.” We’re told that was a catchphrase of Yan’s as he rode around Queens 7 days a week making deliveries, always with a smile, always without complaint. pic.twitter.com/lX8gwDWkT4— Christina Fan (@Christinafantv) May 2, 2022
A donation drive to help the family with expenses was set up and has received over 3,400 donations at time of writing.
Yan's widow, speaking through the family's lawyer, was said to be in shock over the news, saddened by the "waste" of two lives in the incident.
A neighbor of Hirsch that the New York Post spoke to said that he felt "relieved" at Hirsch's passing, saying that he was upset that Hirsch had managed to gain possession of a gun despite the fact that he was out on bail.
Hirsch was released when his brother paid his US$500,000 (SG$690,900) bail in late June, despite him initially being denied bail.
The neighbour was said to be upset that Hirsch had managed to still get a gun despite the police having been meant to have checked Hirsch's home, putting the neighbor and his young family at potential risk. Hirsch was also tagged with an ankle bracelet.
This was a sentiment also shared on social media such as this Twitter user:
Top photo from GoFundMe and Daily Mail video