The widow of a Bronx liquor store worker - who died after being
punched during a robbery - blasted prosecutors yesterday for not charging her husband's
accused attacker with murder.
"My husband was murdered," Jing Rong Wang said outside a Bronx Supreme Court
room, where the men accused of robbing the store were arraigned.
"If he was not punched, he would not have died," she added. "You must
prosecute people who kill."
Authorities said Hasani Best, 25, punched Li Qiang Shu in the head Oct. 12 as the
56-year-old Chinese immigrant was working in the Liyau Trading Liquor Store on Cypress
Shu fell and hit his head on the floor. He lapsed into a coma and died four days later
at Lincoln Hospital. The city medical examiner ruled Shu's death a homicide, but yesterday
Best pleaded not guilty to third-degree assault charges.
'I want justice'
It was an emotional day for Shu's widow and 18-year-old son, Ruida (Ray) Shu, who
carried a large black-and-white framed picture of his father. At one point, Wang was so
overcome with grief that she fainted in a courthouse hallway.
"These people took my father away from me," said Ray Shu. "This is an
injustice ... now, I want justice."
In a statement, Bronx District Attorney Robert Johnson said there was not enough
evidence to charge Best or co-defendants Jason Quinones, 20, and Inez Sanchez, 22, with
"Like everyone else, we are saddened and appalled by the death of Li Qiang
Shu," the statement said. "We intend to prosecute the people who are responsible
for this tragic loss of life to the fullest extent that the law allows.
"A punch which subsequently results in a person's death did not even rise to the
level of criminally negligent homicide," Johnson added. "Our chief of homicide
met with the [Shu] family and explained why homicide charges could not be filed."
Could face 25 years
Johnson said the defendants also face robbery and assault charges in another crime the
same night. They could face up to 25 years in prison if convicted of all the charges.
Don Lee, head of the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association, a civic group,
angrily dismissed Johnson's explanation and vowed to fight for justice for Shu's family.
"The bottom line is these people are getting away with murder," said Lee.
"This is about the DA's office not doing their job," he added. "The DA's
office is taking the easy way out just to close a case. There is significant evidence for
a felony murder case, and there should be no excuses."