Malaysian dies in New York hospital days after hammer attack
A 60-year-old Malaysian restaurant owner, who was attacked with a hammer in New York last Tuesday, has died.
A Malaysian government official confirmed that Ng Tan Kheong succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead by hospital authorities in New York at about 4am local time (4pm Singapore time) on Friday.
"The New York police had confirmed that the victim had passed away at the hospital at about 4am on Jan 18 due to serious injuries.
"The authorities there also managed to contact a next-of-kin of the deceased who said that the family will make the necessary arrangements for the body to be brought back to the country," the official said when contacted by The Star yesterday.
The alleged killer, 34-year-old Arthur Martunovich, also targeted two others.
Chef Fufai Pun, died from his injuries while restaurant manager Tsz Mat Pun, 50, is in critical condition.
The New York Daily News, quoting the restaurant's dishwasher, said the Brooklyn man was specifically targeting Chinese victims.
Mr Francisco Sales, 41, said the hammer-wielding man headed his way at the Seaport Buffet and told him he was not the target.
"'I don't have a problem with the Hispanics. But with the Chinese,'" Mr Sales quoted the alleged attacker as saying.
He said Martunovich, who looked calm when he walked into the restaurant, was wearing construction gloves and hit Mr Ng with the hook side of the hammer.
Mr Pun, 34, also "didn't have time to defend himself", Mr Sales said.
He said the entire attack took about five minutes.
Martunovich, who was arrested shortly after the attack, reportedly told police officers he was inspired to carry out the attack by a Chinese movie he had watched in which "men were mistreating women" the New York Post reported.
The report quoting a law enforcement officer said Martunovich claimed he has a problem with Asian men while on a rant at a local police station.
Martunovich, who has been given psychiatric evaluations, works in construction, the Gothamist reported. He has been charged with murder, attempted murder, and criminal possession of a weapon.
The Daily News reported he had spoken to a friend a few weeks ago, He said he "sounded pretty cheerful and seemed to be happy with life... He never mentioned being unhappy with anything. He was his regular, friendly self".