A third victim has died following a vicious attack by a suspect wielding a hammer in a New York City restaurant earlier this month, authorities said Thursday, adding that the case is being investigated as a possible hate crime targeting Asians.
Tsz Mat Pun, 50, manager of the Seaport Buffet in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, where the attack occurred, died in a hospital Thursday morning, more than a week after the horrific Jan. 15 dinnertime ambush.
"Tragically, earlier today, we did receive notification that this is now a triple homicide, with the third victim passing away," NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea said. "Our thoughts go out to the family."
The two previous victims had been identified as Chef Fufai Pun, 34, who died at the scene on Jan. 15, and restaurant owner Kheong Ng-Thang, 60, who died of his injuries three days later.
The suspect, identified by police as Arthur Martunovich, 34, a construction worker from Brooklyn with no prior criminal record, remained in a psychiatric ward following his arrest in connection with the case, according to a report. Following his capture, he told police he was inspired by a movie about Chinese men mistreating women, the New York Post reported.
According to police, Martunovich ran into the restaurant and bludgeoned the three victims with a hammer, and was arrested later after he fled.
Pun, who was born in Fijian, China, is survived by a wife and two children: a 1-year-old son and an infant son, the New York Daily News reported, citing SinoVision. Asian community leaders are working with China’s consulate general to allow the victim's family to attend his funeral in New York, the report said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.