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New England man charged in shooting of Flushing woman over her relative’s debt: DA

Nov. 6, 2023 By Bill Parry

A Massachusetts man was criminally charged in connection to the “cold-blooded” shooting of a Flushing woman in February, allegedly over a relative’s unpaid financial debt, Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced on Nov. 6.

Minliang Zheng, 50, of Pope Street in Quincy, was arraigned in Queens Supreme Court on Nov. 2 on a four-count indictment charging him with assault and weapons charges hours after he was extradited back to Queens from Massachusetts where he fled following the shooting.

According to the charges, on Feb. 26, a man who has not been identified approached a 57-year-old woman at her Flushing home saying that a male relative of hers owed him money and that if the debt was not paid, someone would hurt her family. Shortly after the threatening visit, cell phone records show that Zheng was near the woman’s house on multiple days, spending several hours at a time in the area.

Video surveillance footage recorded March 19, at approximately 10:30 a.m., shows a gray Honda Odyssey van registered to Zheng near the woman’s house. The van later followed the woman’s 45-year-sister as she left the house and drove to several locations near her own home in Oakland Gardens. At 12:30 p.m., the 45-year-old was loading laundry into her car, which was parked in front of her home. Zheng got out of the Honda Odyssey and approached the woman. He demanded money, saying, “The boss said to get the money.” Zheng pointed a gun at the woman and shot her in the
Leg, according to the charges.

Video footage shows the victim crawling into the driver’s side of her vehicle and attempting to evade Zheng by closing the door. Zheng grabbed the car door, pulled it open and told the victim he would shoot her entire family and left.

Zheng fled to Massachusetts where he was apprehended August 8. He was extradited to New York Thursday.

“The defendant shot the victim simply to settle a score. In this case, fortunately, the victim survived and the defendant will now be held accountable,” Katz said. “We thank the Massachusetts law enforcement community for helping to bring the defendant in to face justice.”

Queens Supreme Court Justice Mary Bejarano ordered Zheng to return to court on Nov. 21. If convicted, Zheng faces up to 15 years in prison.

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