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Man Shot And Killed While Delivering Food In Paterson, N.J.

PATERSON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) -- A man was shot and killed while making a food delivery with his wife early Thursday morning in Paterson.

It happened just before 1 a.m. in the area of East 34th Street near 19th Avenue.

Police said officers responding to a motor vehicle accident found 29-year-old Rui Zhou in the driver's seat of a white Toyota Highlander suffering from a gunshot wound.

His wife, 29-year-old Xiaomei Liu, was also in the car but was not hurt. Zhou was taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Police said the couple was making the last food delivery of the night from a restaurant they own when Zhou was shot before he crashed into several parked cars.

"They tried to rob him and then they shot him and I guess he hit the gas and he crashed into a couple of cars there," neighbor Frankie Colon told CBS2's Jenna DeAngelis.

Neighbors rushed outside to see what happened.

"I just realized there was flashing lights outside and I came outside and then I saw this massive accident. This is like where we always park in the night," resident Phillip Nelson said. "It's very seldom that we have this type of police activity out here."

"It's scary, very scary. Never happened here before," said resident Alex Hussey, who said he's been living in the area for more than 30 years. "Maybe they need more cop security around here."

Later in the day, Zhou's relatives and coworkers gathered outside their family-run restaurant, Ming's Kitchen.

"It hurts. It hurt me very bad, because I can remember the time we had stuff happening here also to us. So it's a bad feeling," neighbor Cecil Fulmore said.

"I'm shocked, I am so shocked," said neighbor Sikida Cockburn. "They come here every day and they do their work, and it's sad. And a lot of people in the community are going to be sad if this business shut down for a while."

A former restaurant deliveryman also stopped by the restaurant to send the message to police to make Paterson's streets safer, saying delivery workers endanger their lives every day.

"This area is no good, so I stop delivering here. I don't want to do it no more," Elliot Ponce said.

"This happens frequently in Paterson. Paterson's gotta change," another man added. "He had a wife, he had kids, he just had his baby, too. Very depressing, very depressing."

A little over a week ago, there was a similar scenario a few miles away. A 27-year-old was shot and killed while making a pizza delivery in Clifton, but the prosecutor's office says the two incidents are not connected.

The Passaic County Prosecutor's Office asks anyone with information to call 1-877-370-PCPO or email or contact the Paterson Police Detective Bureau at 973-321-1120.

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