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Asian-American Community Mourns Loss Of Yong Zheng, Good Samaritan Who Was Fatally Stabbed While Trying To Stop Robbery In Brooklyn

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- A community gathered Wednesday for a heartbreaking farewell to a husband and father who lost his life trying to help victims of a robbery in Brooklyn.

The Asian-American community stood shoulder to shoulder in heartbreak Wednesday, mourning the loss of 46-year-old Yong Zheng.

His widow and two children sobbed over a black-and-white photo with a sign that read in Chinese, "Rest in Peace, Hero."

Xiu Lin was Zheng's god-sister.

"As soon as I got home, I received a phone call from my mom, screaming, crying, saying he got stabbed, he was shooting out blood, she didn't know what to do," Lin told CBS2's Christina Fan.

Zheng was celebrating the Lantern Festival on Feb. 26 in Sunset Park when he stumbled across a robbery in front of an illegal gambling den on Seventh Avenue and 56th Street.

With anti-Asian American hate on the rise, he ran over without hesitation to help the victims and was stabbed to death.

"As Asians, we are not that great at expressing ourselves, but we have great hearts. A lot of people are willing to do this, and he is not the only one at the scene that didn't hesitate," Lin said.

The Chinese community says Zheng was far from the only Good Samaritan that night.

Police say a total of four people were injured. One of them was an Uber driver, who is still hospitalized with three stab wounds.

Zheng's death has galvanized the Chinese community.

Local leaders say he should be a symbol of what everyone should strive to be, selfless and righteous, and a protector to his community.

"Nice guys can't be getting killed like this. The whole community right now, we are all upset," said Louie Liu, with the Brooklyn Asian Civilian Observation Patrol.

They're demanding the suspects be punished.

Police have arrested 45-year-old William Smith for Zheng's murder, but sources say at least two other accomplices are still outstanding.

Zheng was the sole provider for his family, working as a bus driver. The community has set up a fundraiser for his two young children. To donate, visit

CBS2's Christina Fan contributed to this report.

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