Hammer attack at Brooklyn restaurant that killed Malaysian owner claims third victim

The manager of the Seaport Buffet, Mr Tsz Mat Pun, 50, died on Thursday morning at NYU Langone Hospital-Brooklyn, police said.
The manager of the Seaport Buffet, Mr Tsz Mat Pun, 50, died on Thursday morning at NYU Langone Hospital-Brooklyn, police said.PHOTO: GOOGLE MAPS

NEW YORK (NYTIMES) - A third person has died from his injuries after a man wielding a hammer entered a Brooklyn restaurant last week and attacked its employees.

The manager of the Seaport Buffet, Mr Tsz Mat Pun, 50, died on Thursday (Jan 24) morning at NYU Langone Hospital-Brooklyn, police said.

His death came nine days after a man entered the Chinese restaurant and began hitting the employees, police said. A chef at the restaurant, 34-year-old Fufai Pun, died the same night at a hospital.

A 60-year-old owner, whom The Associated Press identified as Malaysian Kheong Ng-Thang, died from his injuries last Friday (Jan 18).

The suspect in the killings, Arthur Martunovich, 34, of Brooklyn, was arrested within blocks of the restaurant after the Jan 15 attack, and the hammer was recovered. A police official said he remained hospitalised in a psychiatric ward.

Martunovich was initially charged with murder, two counts of attempted murder and criminal possession of a weapon. Additional charges are likely, a police spokesman said, although the Brooklyn district attorney's office had not updated the charges as of Thursday night.

The restaurant reopened on Thursday for the first time since the attack, said Mr Edwin Chang, the interim manager. Everyone who was working that day had been given the day off, he said.

 
 

Mr Chang said many of the employees who were filling in had been brought in from another restaurant owned by one of Seaport Buffet's proprietors, Mr Raymond Chang. He said the restaurant's employees were "traumatised" and had told him "there was blood everywhere" after the attack.

"They are in mourning," Mr Edwin Chang said. "You don't want to come to work in a place where people just died. You don't want to cry while you're waiting tables."

Mr Chang said a rally would be held outside the restaurant on Friday (Jan 25) morning. Local leaders and the restaurant's management were expected to attend.

"It's a very, very sad situation, but there is a lot of support for us coming in from the Russian community and the Jewish community," Mr Chang said.

Mr Chaim Deutsch, a member of the New York City Council who represents the neighbourhood, expressed his condolences for the family of the third victim.

"I am committed to continuing the fight against hatred," he said in a tweet. "There is no place for this evil in our city."

Ms Margaret Chin, a City Council member who represents lower Manhattan, used Twitter to call the killings a "disgusting, cowardly attack".