Anger and sadness and grief and disbelief filled the air as the group came together to condemn the murder of 46-year-old Yong Zheng.
The would-be good Samaritan is now hailed as a hero in the community.
"We call Mr. Zheng our community hero," Lina Chen said. "So we want to let people know, stop the violence."
Zheng was returning home when he saw groups of men fighting in the street. Believing an innocent Asian man was being attacked, he and a friend tried to intervene.
Detectives say surveillance video shows he tried to save the man and was stabbed to death with a screwdriver. It happened at 9:30 on Friday night.
ALSO READ | Widow of good Samaritan killed in Brooklyn stabbing still processing horrific nightmare
As Zheng's 4-year-old son wiped away his mother's tears, Zheng's widow told Eyewitness News the crime has left her devastated.
"He heard robbery, he didn't know what was going on, he saw a crime and he tried to stop it," his widow, Jin Zhao, said through a translator.
But it was not a bias attack, after all. It was an armed robbery outside an illegal gambling hall.
Police later arrested an ex-con from Brownsville who had once served time for another killing.
"We want to cry," Chen said. "These bad men didn't just kill Mr. Zheng, they killed an entire family."
Zheng's friend, who also intervened, was injured but has since been released from the hospital.
While one of the suspects is in custody, detectives are still seeking several accomplices. Anybody with information that could track them down is urged to call the NYPD.
ALSO READ | Arrest made in stabbing death of good Samaritan who tried to stop robbery in Brooklyn
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