Asian Man Arrested for Hammer Attack, Mom Killed, 2 Kids Fighting for Life
August 23, 2023
BROOKLYN, NY—A mother was savagely bludgeoned to death and her two children are now “fighting for their lives” after all three were attacked with a hammer inside their Brooklyn apartment Wednesday afternoon. The attacker is believed to be the family’s roommate.
The attack happened inside the bedroom of a home located at 531 52nd St. in Sunset Park around 2 p.m., reports ABC7.
The 5-year-old boy and 3-year-old girl are both fighting for their lives. Police describe it as a “horrific and senseless act of violence.”
Authorities initially believed the victims suffered from stab wounds, however, it was later determined they were bludgeoned, not stabbed. A hammer was recovered at the scene.
The murder victim’s husband works in Ohio and returns once a month. He is currently on his way back to be with his children at the hospital, according to ABC7.
Police say the suspect currently in custody was a roommate in the family’s small second-floor, three-bedroom apartment occupied by three families. He was arrested as he was trying to leave the building.
Liyong Ye, 47, has been identified as the suspect who lived in the same Sunset Park rooming house as slain mom Zhao Zhao, 43, and her two children.
Ye lived in another room of the small three-bedroom apartment with his 9-year-old son. He had no prior arrests, according to the New York Post.
EXCLUSIVE TV VIDEO: Suspect who allegedly bludgeoned his roommate to death with a hammer, and attacked her 5YO son and 3YO daughter in Sunset Park, Brooklyn… taken to hospital for psych eval. The children are fighting to stay alive. Suspect's 9YO son watched the horror. pic.twitter.com/aR1ILNZt68
Ye is not related to the victims and the motive behind the attack is not yet known.
“It’s very rare in our community to have this kind of violence,” said State Assembly Lester Chang. “And back home in China, they’re Fukanese. They live in close quarters, close compact quarters so they’re used to it. Something had to trigger for the father to cross that moral line.”
Community leaders say Ye’s son witnessed the entire attack.