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Funeral Services Scheduled for MoMA Cook Killed for his iPhone

By Mary Johnson | April 20, 2012 3:57pm
Hwang Yang, 26, a cook at The Modern at MoMA, was shot and killed on April 19, 2012.
Hwang Yang, 26, a cook at The Modern at MoMA, was shot and killed on April 19, 2012.
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DNAinfo/Nicholas Rizzi

MANHATTAN — Funeral services have been scheduled for a cook for The Modern at MoMA, who was gunned down early Thursday morning, the apparent target of an iPhone robber.

Hwang Yang, 26, who was fatally shot just a few blocks from his Riverdale home, will be remembered during a memorial service Saturday at 8:30 p.m. at the St. John Nam Church on White Plains Road in the Bronx, said the church’s pastor, Simon Nam.

Despite some initial debate from the family over whether Yang should be buried here or back in his native Korea, the family has decided to inter Yang in New York, Nam said. A funeral mass is scheduled for Monday at 10 a.m.

Nam said that both services are open to anyone looking to mourn the loss of the young man, who was both an altar boy and a Sunday school teacher at the church.

“He’s a very good young guy, you know,” said Nam, who noted that Yang’s family members have been distraught since they heard the news on Thursday.

The incident took place around 12:30 a.m., as Yang was walking from the subway station at West 231st Street to his home on Johnson Avenue.

Yang’s parents often picked him up at the station and drove him home after his shifts at The Modern. But on Thursday night, Yang made the trek alone.

Police said at least one armed gunman approached Yang, possibly drawn by the white ear buds sticking out of his ears, and demanded he hand over the iPhone. When Yang refused, the gunman shot him in the torso.

Yang later died at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, police said. His iPhone was missing.

Friends and family were shocked and devastated on Thursday, recalling how Yang was quiet and reserved but expressed himself through photography and food.

Yang joined The Modern, a Danny Meyer-owner restaurant, in February of this year as a garde manger, crafting the menu’s amuse-bouches and cold plates, said Jee Won Park, a spokeswoman for Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group.

“I think it’s incredibly shocking to hear that kind of news, regardless of how long someone has worked with you,” Park said.

She added that the restaurant group has been trying to connect with the family to offer their support and determine how the family would like their son to be memorialized.

“This is such a tragic situation,” Park said. “I think right now everyone is just sort of absorbing the loss.”