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Authorities: Teen Shot Paterson Chinese Restaurant Owner Dead In Front Of Wife

Rui Zhou was gunned down in front of this house on East 34th Street in Paterson.
Rui Zhou was gunned down in front of this house on East 34th Street in Paterson. Photo Credit: GoogleMaps

A 17-year-old Paterson boy is accused of shooting and killing a city Chinese restaurant owner following a struggle as the victim's wife sat next to him in their car while making their last drop-off of the night, authorities said.

The killer approached their Toyota Highlander in front of an East 34th Street home, pulled out a gun and demanded money just after 12:30 a.m. Thursday, authorities said.Rui Zhou, 29, struggled with the robber, then tried to drive away before he was shot in the face, they said.

His vehicle then crashed into another, which is where police found him.

Unharmed was the victim's wife, Xiaomei Liu, also 29, who was still in the passenger seat, Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes and Paterson Police Chief Troy Oswald said in a joint news release.

Zhou was pronounced dead at St. Joseph’s University Medical Center in Paterson about 45 minutes later, they said.

The incident follows another less than two weeks ago, when a 27-year-old Wallington pizza delivery man was shot and killed in his car, which struck a tree outside the Passaic ShopRite. Authorities didn't say whether they believe the killings were related.

SEE: Wallington Pizza Deliveryman Shot Dead, Car Crashes Outside Passaic ShopRite

The juvenile, whose name wasn't released because of his age, was detained pending hearing Tuesday in the Family Division of Superior Court in Paterson. A delinquency complaint accuses him of murder, robbery and weapons possession.

It was too early for Valdes to indicate whether she would ask a judge to waive the case to adult criminal court.

Valdes asked that anyone with information that could help detectives find the killer contact her office’s tips line at 1-877-370-PCPO or tips@passaiccountynj.org or contact the Paterson Police Detective Bureau at (973) 321-1120 .

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