NEW YORK—Police said on Oct. 26 that 25-year-old Ming Don Chen implicated himself in the stabbing and killing of four children and their mother late Saturday night in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.
Police responded to a call from a victim to discover the mother and four of her children with stab wounds to their upper bodies, unconscious, and unresponsive.
Three of the children, Linda Zhuo, 9, Amy Zhuo, 7, and William Zhuo, 1, were declared dead when the paramedics arrived. Their mother, Qiao Zhen Li, 37, was taken to Lutheran Medical Center and pronounced dead upon arrival. Kevin Zhuo, 5, was taken to Maimonides Medical Center and also pronounced dead upon arrival.
Police initially detained Chen and identified him as a person of interest. Chief of Department Phil Banks later said that Chen made statements that implicated him in the killings.
Banks said that Chen was a cousin of the father and had stayed with the family between 8 and 10 days.
A knife was recovered from the scene, police said.
The police precinct responsible for the area where the killings occurred recorded only one murder last year, and none prior to Saturday in 2013. The home where the stabbings occurred, 870 57 St., is on a block lined with two-story brick buildings within a large Chinese community.
Bob Madden, who lives nearby, was out walking his dog when he saw a man being escorted from the building by police. He was barefoot, wearing jeans, and “he was staring, he was expressionless,” Madden said.
A neighbor, May Chan, told the Daily News it was “heartbreaking” to learn of the deaths.
“I always see (the children) running around here,” Chan said. “They run around by my garage playing. They run up and down screaming.”
Lutheran Medical Center, Maimonides Medical Center, and the Office of the Chief Medical examiner did not respond to requests for information by press deadline.
Domestic Violence in Chinese Families
Jimmy Li, a family coordinator for the Chinese-American Planning Council in Brooklyn, told the Epoch Times that many Chinese families have histories of domestic violence that go untold because of economic and emotional pressure. Therefore, the Chinese community generally lacks awareness of the pervasiveness and severity of the issue.
Li saw descriptions of Chen as a mentally disturbed person. He said Chinese people do not seek community-based organizations for help because they feel inhibited to do so. When the mentally ill are involved, the Chinese are more likely to go to a psychiatrist, but rarely notify community agencies or medical institutions when someone is prone to violence.
“They don’t only destroy themselves, but also destroy the whole family. Under domestic violence, the perpetrators and the victims all are losers,” Li said. “So this problem must be actively treated.”
Two criminal cases with psychologically disturbed defendants are currently under psychiatric expertise in courts. Both crimes were committed by newly arrived immigrants from Fujian Province in China.
Wei Chu Hu was charged with murder for starting a fatal fire in his Spring Street apartment in January. Ming Gua Huang was charged with attempted murder for attacking his 23-year-old wife with a cleaver in Manhattan’s Chinatown on Canal Street in February.
Epoch Times staff members Gary Du, Hannah Caiand, and The Associated Press contributed to this report.