Liyong Ye, a 47-year-old resident of Sunset Park, has been arraigned following charges of second-degree murder and two counts of attempted second-degree murder.
The charges stem from an incident where Ye allegedly attacked and killed Zhao Zhao, 43, and critically injured her two children, ages 5 and 3, with a hammer.
“This was a horrific, harrowing, and unspeakably brutal attack on an innocent mother and her two defenseless young children,” said Kings County District Attorney Eric Gonzalez. “With this prosecution, we will seek justice for Zhao Zhao and her son and daughter, as well as their heartbroken family, friends, and neighbors.”
According to court records, Ye is accused of attacking Zhao and her children on August 23, 2023, at around 1:30 p.m. inside an apartment shared by two families and two roommates. The attack followed a dispute between Ye and Zhao regarding living conditions within the apartment.
The prosecution stated that Ye allegedly contacted a roommate to collect his 5-year- old son shortly after the attack occurred.
Upon the roommate’s return, a gruesome scene awaited — Zhao and her children were found in a bloodied state with Ye allegedly standing over them, a bloody hammer in hand. Emergency services were promptly contacted.
Zhao was later pronounced dead at Lutheran Hospital due to severe blunt-force trauma. Her children were transported to Bellevue Hospital’s Pediatric Trauma Unit and later moved to a long-term rehabilitation facility to recover from their critical injuries.
Ye has been charged with second-degree murder, attempted second-degree murder, first-degree assault, and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon. He has been ordered to be held without bail and is scheduled to return to court on Nov. 8, 2023. If convicted of the top count, Ye faces a prison sentence of up to 25 years to life.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Chow Yun Xie and Assistant District Attorney Daphney Gachette of the District Attorney’s Homicide Bureau, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Leila Rosini, Chief of the Homicide Bureau. The District Attorney’s Office thanked Office Manager Jannette Ayala for her assistance with the case.