Vigil honors victims of U-Haul rampage

The community held a candlelight vigil Monday night for the victims of last week’s deadly U-Haul rampage.

Mayor Eric Adams joined local leaders, residents and the victims’ family members on Fifth Avenue and Bay Ridge Parkway, where deliveryman YiJie Ye, 44, was fatally injured while riding his e-bike Feb. 13.

Eight others were hurt as the U-Haul cut a path of destruction through the streets of Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights and Sunset Park. One of the victims, 36-year-old Mohammed Salah Rakchi, is still in critical condition.

State Sen. Iwen Chu and Mayor Eric Adams hold candles at the vigil. Eagle Urban Media/Photos by Arthur De Gaeta

Weng Sor, 62, was charged with one count of second-degree murder and seven counts of attempted murder for the civilians he allegedly hit. A police officer was also hurt when the truck rammed his patrol car. 

“This person was experiencing some real mental health issues that we must focus on and face and make sure our city is safe and I’m committed to doing so,” Adams said. “My heart goes out to the entire community and all the families that are involved.”

Ye, who leaves behind three children, came to the U.S. 14 years ago, according to state Sen. Andrew Gounardes.

Locals gather to remember YiJie Ye. Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office

“He would drive a bike in rain and snow and hot and cold and collect cans during his off time so he could put money aside for his kids to go to school,” Gounardes said. “When we think about his memory and who we are here to honor and remember, remember the whole story. His American dream was not supposed to end on this street corner.”

Eagle Urban Media/Photos by Arthur De Gaeta

Karen Tadross of Bay Ridge Cares led a moment of silence for Ye.

“We continue to pray for those that were injured and hope that the light from these candles guides us towards healing,” she said.

Eagle Urban Media/Photos by Arthur De Gaeta
Mayor Eric Adams honors the life of YiJie Ye. Eagle Urban Media/Photos by Arthur De Gaeta

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