Just after midnight on Thursday, a 26-year-old Bronx man on his way home from work was fatally shot by a robber who was after his iPhone. Hwangbum Yang, a culinary-school graduate who taught Sunday school, had just started working at The Modern (the Danny Meyer restaurant at MoMA) in February. “He dreamed of becoming a famous chef here in New York so that he could go back to Korea and be very successful,” his mother, Hyun Sub Yang, told the Post through a translator.
Yang was held at gunpoint by the suspect at the corner of Cambridge Avenue and West 232 Street in Riverdale around 12:30 a.m., and was shot once at close range. A witness told the Post he saw the suspect going through his pockets: “He stopped and sort of squished something with his foot, and then I realized it was a person because he lifted [Yang’s] arms up a little. He did it so casually—that’s what is so scary.”
Yang was a garde manger, a position that handles the amuse bouche and cold food dishes, at The Modern, which is owned by restaurateur Danny Meyer inside MoMA. "He was a quiet, friendly and dedicated 26-year-old professional who was interested in learning more," said Jee Won Park, a spokeswoman for the Union Square Hospitality Group. "Our entire restaurant family is devastated by the tragic news."
His uncle Jun Lee couldn't understand why the robbery escalated into violence: “If you’re going to rob someone, why not just take the money? Why do you have to take someone’s life?” His cousin, Peter Han, told the Journal that Yang usually called his father to pick him up after work: "Today he just decided to walk home. Maybe he just didn't want his dad driving in the rain."