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10.27.2010

cops suspect murder-suicide in flushing fire

EDIT: The man involved in the arson and murder-suicide described below, originally misidentified by authorities and media reports as Shao-Fan Gong, was later positively identified as 22-year-old Zhang Zhen: Mother makes identification in Flushing murder-suicide.

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This is a crazy story out of New York... Last week in Queens, the body of a man was found with his throat slashed inside a burning building. A second man, who was also hurt in the fire and also appeared to be stabbed, died later at the hospital: Man, who was stabbed, found dead inside burning Flushing building, M.E. to determine death.

Later, it emerged that the victim found with his throat slashed, 42-year-old Chang-Xin Hu, had been stabbed multiple times by 27-year-old Shao-Fan Gong 22-year-old Zhang Zhen, who then set the office on fire in a murder-suicide:
Shao-Fan Gong, 27 [Zhang Zhen, 22], stabbed Chang-Xin Hu, 42, multiple times inside a private immigration office on Roosevelt Ave. in Flushing about 3 p.m. Saturday.

Gong [Zhen] then stabbed himself and used a lighter to set the office on fire. Firefighters pulled him from the burning office, but he died at an area hospital.

The Medical Examiner ruled Sunday that Hu, who was dead at the scene, died of stab wounds, cops said.

An autopsy showed smoke inhalation killed Gong [Zhen], cops said. His stab wounds were nonfatal and likely self-inflicted.

It was not clear whether Gong [Zhen] used an accelerant to start the blaze. Fire marshals are investigating.
There appears to be some confusion over the motive for the murder-suicide. The Daily News is calling it a "lovers' quarrel", the Wall Street Journal is reporting that the violence was provoked because of "sexual advances", while others are simply calling it an argument over immigration papers. Whatever the case, it's horrific.