Young man shot while protecting grandfather

June 16, 2011 5:05:19 AM PDT
Police released surveillance of the gunman wanted in a bloody robbery at a family-owned laundromat in Queens.

A young man, 22-year-old Dennis Lin, was shot during the robbery while trying to protect his grandfather.

Lin is in stable condition, but is still in intensive care.

His mother has been by his side from the moment he was shot last Friday.

She left his bedside for a short while Wednesday night to talk to Eyewitness News about the shooting.

"I just want to ask him, 'Why, why did he do this to my son?'" Helen Zhang said.

Lin was shot in the chest last Friday during a robbery at the family business, DC Dry Cleaners on Farmer's Boulevard.

Even after being shot, he kept chasing after his attacker before collapsing in front of his mother on the sidewalk.

"I see him and he said, 'Mommy he just shot me'," Zhang said.

Police released surveillance video of the suspect as he walked into the store.

Lin told his family the young man brought in dirty laundry, posing as a customer. He then pulled out a gun and ordered Dennis to the back, where his 73-year-old grandfather was working pressing clothes.

"He elbowed the guy because he didn't want him going to the back because my grandfather was back there," said Diana Zhang, the victim's sister.

In the act of protecting his grandfather, Dennis was shot in the chest, the bullet tearing through almost his entire torso.

Now, he's in intensive care at Jamaica Hospital, where he needs help breathing because he has a hole in his lung.

"He'd rather himself get hurt and not his grandfather, he loves his grandfather to death," said Mario Nicoleau, a family friend.

"He is really brave, when it comes to family he puts everyone before him, I'm grateful to have a brother like that," Diana Zhang said.

Dennis had taken the year off from college to help his mother run the family cleaners and her nail salon.

Now the family is focused on his recovery.

His mother shared Dennis's first words when he woke from surgery after the shooting.

"He said, 'What about grandpa?' (That's the first thing he said?) Yes," Helen Zhang said.

Dennis is obviously a very brave and caring young man.

Needless to say, his grandfather was not hurt in the shooting.

If you recognize the shooter from the surveillance video, you are asked to contact the police.