A Brooklyn restaurant manager has died from injuries inflicted by the hammer-wielding man who stormed a Sheepshead Bay buffet last week, according to authorities.
Tsz Mat Pung, 50, was pronounced dead early Thursday morning at NYU Langone Hospital in Brooklyn. He's the third victim to die following the bloody rampage carried out by Arthur Martunovich last Tuesday, police said. The restaurant's 34-year-old chef, Fufai Pun, was killed at the scene, while owner Kheon Ng-Thang, 60, was pronounced dead last Friday.
Martinuvich, a 34-year-old construction worker who lives in Brighton Beach, has been charged with two counts of murder, one count of attempted murder and criminal possession of a weapon—and will likely face an additional murder charge for the most recent fatality, as well as potential hate crime charges. Law enforcement sources reportedly believe that Martinuvich attacked Asian workers specifically, and was possibly motivated by his "self-professed affinity for Chinese movies that denigrate Asian women," according to NBC.
In a joint statement released earlier this week, Councilmembers Margaret Chin, Chaim Deutsch, and Peter Koo urged the NYPD and Brooklyn D.A. Eric Gonzalez to "send a clear message that such a clear targeting of the Asian community will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."
"The views espoused by this individual echo lingering racial stereotypes concerning the relationship between men and women in the Chinese community," they added. "Armed with these repugnant beliefs, this man entered a local restaurant and wounded two innocent people and killed another while they were doing their jobs. Let’s be clear: no New Yorker should ever fear that someone could end their lives just because they are of a certain ethnicity."
Martunovich, who lives a few blocks from the restaurant, allegedly fled after the attack, but officers found him a few blocks away and took him into custody. A police source told the Daily News that Martunovich assaulted an officer who escorted him to the restroom after his arrest, and that multiple officers sustained injuries while trying to restrain him.
During his interrogation, he was "rambling" and "was saying psycho stuff about space aliens," a source told the Post. Another said Martunovich claimed "voices" in his head commanded him to carry out the attack.
On Thursday, City Councilmembers Margaret Chin and Chaim Deutsch announced they'd be hosting a community unity rally to "support the Asian-American community during this difficult time." That event will take place in front of the Seaport Buffet—located at 2027 Emmons Ave—at 11:30 a.m. on Friday.