SHEEPSHEAD BAY, Brooklyn — City council member Chaim Deutsch stood outside the Seaport Buffet on Emmons Avenue Friday. Just 10 days ago, the restaurant was the scene of a deadly attack.
"I am proud to see that so many people have come out on this cold Friday morning to declare that an attack on one is an attack on all," Deutsch said.
Surveillance video captured people running from the restaurant around 5 p.m. Police say Arthur Martunovich used a hammer to attack and kill the owner and two employees after watching a film that showed Asian men abusing Asian women.
"This is a rebuke to the ugly views espoused by the attacker," said city council member Margaret Chin. "We stand united today in solidarity with a community grieving."
Family members of the victims have requested privacy as they mourn the loss of their loved ones. Friends have started a GoFundMe page to help them in the short term.
Deutsch organized the press conference to show support for the entire Asian community across the city.
"Hate has no place in Sheepshead Bay and hate has no place in our city," Deutsch said.
Martunovich lives just a few blocks away from the scene of the attack. His mother reportedly told police that he is mentally ill. But Friday, a representative for the families said the details of the attack suggest Martunovich was fully aware of his actions.
"Mental people, they're not going to carry the weapons and conceal it and go inside the restaurant only picking the Chinese, Asian, men to kill them," said Sam Tsang.
All of the speakers called on the district attorney to charge the attacker with a hate crime for the murders. A representative from his office said he will do just that.