The Chinese immigrant charged with slashing a mother and her four children to death on Saturday in a Brooklyn bloodbath blurted out “I know I am done,” when police arrived at the crime scene, according to court papers.
Suspected killer Mingdong Chen, 25, was ordered held without bail Monday in Brooklyn criminal court. He is charged with five counts of murder in the second degree, one count of first degree murder and criminal possession of a weapon.
Chen, who police said arrived in 2004 as an illegal immigrant from China, is charged with using a knife to slash Li Qiao Zhen, 37, and her four children: Linda, 9, Amy, 7, Kevin, 5, and William, 1. All were killed at the family’s home at 870 57th Av. in Sunset Park just before 10:30 p.m. Saturday. It was unclear what precisely sparked the carnage, but law enforcement officials said Chen told detectives he resented the relative prosperity of the family and had been having problems keeping a job. Chen, who was a cousin of the dead woman’s husband, was living with the family for about a week, said a law enforcement source.
Defense attorney Danielle Eaddy said in an email that she mentioned in court that Chen suffered some bruises on his forehead may have occurred while he was in police custody. A spokesman for the NYPD declined to comment on Eaddy’s assertion.
A spokesman for the Brooklyn District Attorneys Office said the case was being referred to a grand jury.
The killings, in which all of the victims suffered slashing wounds to their necks, stunned the city’s Chinese community.
Edward Chiu, head of the Chinatown’s Lin Sing Association, said disputes between new arrivals and more established family members are common. The spark is often the difficulties the new immigrants have in making their fortune, he explained.