QUEENS, N.Y. PIX11) — A hitman allegedly shot a Queens woman in front of her home earlier this year because her male relative had accrued unpaid debt, authorities said Tuesday.
Massachusetts resident Minliang Zheng, 50, is accused of shooting the woman, 45, in the leg while she was putting laundry in a car in front of her Flushing home at around 12:30 p.m. on March 19, according to prosecutors. The victim survived her injuries.
“The boss said to get the money,” Zheng allegedly told the woman before firing, authorities said.
Zheng then allegedly told the victim he would shoot her entire family if her male relative didn’t pay the money he owed, officials said. The circumstances of the debt were unclear.
Zheng followed the victim to several locations on the day of the shooting and was parked in a Honda Odyssey waiting for her to get home before he ambushed her, prosecutors said.
Prior to the incident, the defendant allegedly threatened the victim’s 57-year-old sister on Feb. 26 and surveilled the home for weeks.
Zheng fled to Massachusetts after the incident and was arrested on Aug. 8. He was extradited to New York on Thursday and arraigned on assault and weapons charges, authorities said.
Zheng pleaded not guilty and is being held without bail, according to public court records. His attorney could not immediately be reached Tuesday.
“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. We thank the Massachusetts law enforcement community for helping to bring the defendant in to face justice,” Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said.
Mira Wassef is a digital reporter who has covered news and sports in the New York City area for more than a decade. She joined PIX11 News in 2022. See more of her work here.