Deaths rattle Flushing block

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Police have released the identities of the two victims of what they described as a likely murder-suicide that shocked a leafy Flushing neighborhood last week.

Lori Eng, 51, of Flushing, and David Chea, 55, of Manhattan, were pronounced dead on arrival when police found their bodies in front of Eng’s home July 13 near the intersection of 142nd Street and 56th Road, a short distance from New York Hospital Queens. Eng succumbed to two gunshot wounds to her torso and Chea died from a gunshot wound to his head.

Children were playing in Kissena Corridor Park, just across the street from Eng’s home, shortly after 5 p.m. when the sunny air was pierced by three loud gunshots, leaving Eng and Chea dead in the street. Authorities did not elaborate on the relationship between the two victims or the specifics of the shooting.

Police, who first responded to the scene at 5:13 p.m., said they believed the deaths resulted from a murder-suicide.

Victor Ortiz, a father of two who lives less than a block from the scene of the shootings, said the victims appeared to be of Asian descent.

A neighbor, who declined to be identified, said a Chinese-American witness to the incident recounted seeing a Chinese man arguing with a Chinese woman in the street shortly before the shots rang out. The witness then hid in a nearby driveway, according to the neighbor, who said a gun was lying next to the man before police arrived. Police said a .38-caliber firearm was recovered from the crime scene.

The incident was the first of its kind in the area, according to Ortiz.

“Everyday me and my kids are here in the park, but honestly this is a very quiet neighborhood. People usually keep to themselves,” he said. “People know each other, but there’s never any altercations or anything. Nothing like this has ever happened.”

Another neighbor who has lived for 35 years in a home just feet from the shooting and said she always described her stretch of 56th Road as “the nicest block in Queens” was on the phone when she heard the shots.

“All I heard was two loud bangs. It sounded like fireworks. I thought kids were shooting fireworks in the park. It wasn’t like ‘bang bang.’ It was like ‘bang,’ then pause, then ‘bang,’” she said. “It sounded like M-80s, it was louder than fireworks.”

More than 20 detectives and police officers interviewed witnesses and neighbors at the crime scene the evening of the incident. Queens District Attorney Richard Brown and 109th Precinct Deputy Inspector Brian Maguire also responded to the scene.

Brown said the investigation was ongoing and the relationship between the two victims was unclear.

Reach reporter Connor Adams Sheets by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4538.

Updated 11:59 am, October 12, 2011
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