NEW YORK — A 41-year-old Brooklyn man has been arraigned on an indictment in which he is charged with second-degree murder for allegedly fatally shooting a man inside the victim’s Sunset Park residence, a single room occupancy hotel.
District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said, “This defendant allegedly planned his attack and callously executed the victim as he was asleep in his bed. We intend to prosecute this case vigorously to hold the defendant fully accountable for taking a life.”
The District Attorney identified the defendant as Sam Chen, 41, of Sunset Park, Brooklyn. He was arraigned today before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Vincent Del Giudice on an indictment in which he is charged with one count of second-degree murder and two counts of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon. The defendant was ordered held without bail and to return to court on October 4, 2019. He faces up to 25 years to life in prison if convicted of the top count.
The District Attorney said that, according to the investigation, on June 26, 2019, at approximately 8:16 a.m., the defendant was captured on video surveillance driving a 2014 Nissan NV3 at 51st Street, near 7th Avenue, in Sunset Park. He and the victim then allegedly got out of the vehicle and entered the victim’s residence; the defendant was captured leaving the residence shortly thereafter.
At approximately 12:45 p.m., the defendant was allegedly captured on surveillance video returning to the residence, putting on a surgical mask and entering the victim’s building. Soon after, he was allegedly captured on surveillance video leaving the building and still wearing the surgical mask.
The victim’s body was discovered in his bed two days later, on June 28, 2019, at approximately 1 p.m., by the cleaning staff. He suffered two gunshot wounds to his forehead. Police recovered two 9mm shell casings at the scene. The victim was identified as Da Li, age 46.
Investigators executed a search warrant on the defendant’s vehicle and recovered a Taurus 9mm semi-automatic pistol with a loaded magazine inside of a black plastic bag, which matched ballistic evidence recovered at the victim’s residence.
The defendant was apprehended at John F. Kennedy International Airport on July 3, 2019, as he was boarding a flight to California.