BROOKLYN — A Lower East Side man has been sentenced to 40 years to life in prison for a 2015 murder that stemmed from a decades-old family feud originating in China, according to the Brooklyn District Attorney's Office.
Wu Long Chen, 46, fatally shot Ying Guan Chen, 68, the night of Dec. 7 after the two attended a wedding reception at the Golden Imperial Palace restaurant on Sixth Avenue in Sunset Park — the bloody culmination of a feud sparked over 20 years ago between the murderer and the victim's sons, prosecutors said.
The families became locked in a dispute when they were neighbors in China, according to prosecutors, when Wu Long's family was seeking to build another floor on their building that hung over the home of Ying Guan's family.
The construction spat turned ugly when one of Wu Long's family members was seriously hurt in an altercation with Ying Guan's family, said the DA's office, and Wu Long had held a grudge against the victim's family ever since. He gunned down Ying Guan when he couldn't find the victim's sons.
The night of the murder, Wu Long trailed Ying Guan when he left the wedding reception and shot him in the head, chest and arm near Seventh Avenue and 61st Street, prosecutors said. The victim stumbled into a Popeye's Chicken after the attack where he collapsed, and later died at the hospital.
Wu Long attempted to flee to Mexico after the shooting but was captured in Laredo, Texas on Dec. 31, 2015, prosecutors said.
He was convicted of murder and criminal possession of a weapon in June of this year following a trial by jury. He was sentenced Monday to 25 years to life in prison for the murder conviction and 15 years in prison for the criminal possession conviction of a weapon by Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Neil Firetog, who ordered the sentences be served consecutively, prosecutors said.
"This was a particularly egregious and senseless murder – an elderly man who had done nothing wrong was shot in cold blood over an old dispute oceans away of which he had no part," said acting District Attorney Eric Gonzalez in a statement.
"This defendant was caught on video stalking, following and, finally, shooting this innocent victim to death in the street. Today’s lengthy sentence is just, given the horrific nature of this crime."