What to Know
- A source says the deadly hammer rampage inside a Brooklyn buffet Tuesday night may have been racially motivated
- A chef died in the attack; two others were wounded and in critical condition
- The 34-year-old suspect is in custody
Police are investigating whether the deadly hammer attack inside a Brooklyn restaurant Tuesday night could have been connected to the suspect's self-professed affinity for Chinese movies that denigrate Asian women, a law enforcement source said.
The hammer-wielding suspect burst into Seaport Buffet late that evening, attacking the 60-year-old owner, a 34-year-old chef and a 50-year-old worker inside, police said.
A source said Wednesday that the suspect, 34-year-old Arthur Martunovich, first encountered Latino workers inside the Sheepshead Bay restaurant on Emmons Avenue and allegedly told them, "I am not here for you."
He went on to attack the three Asian men, claiming he was inspired by Chinese movies where women were allegedly mistreated, according to the source.
The chef, Fufai Pun of Brooklyn, died at the hospital. The two other victims remain in critical condition.
The suspect, 34-year-old Arthur Martunovich, is facing charges of murder, attempted murder and criminal possession of a weapon. It wasn't clear if he had an attorney.
A source said when Martunovich was being processed for arrest inside the police station Wednesday, he was taken the bathroom, where detectives uncuffed him. That's when he turned on the detectives, swinging at them and punching one of them in the eye. He allegedly scratched the second detective before being restrained and cuffed again.
Both detectives were treated for their injuries.
Martunovich was cuffed again and restrained with Velcro straps, and taken away for psychiatric evaluation, the source said.
Witnesses described a frightening aftermath Tuesday night.
"A couple of people, customers from the restaurant, came in here, and we let them in and they said a guy came in crazy with a hammer and started hammering certain people, random people," said Samantha Randazzo, the owner of Randazzo's Clam Bar next door.
"The guy said he was just screaming crazy words, like, 'I'm killing everybody, world is hell,'" she said. "Just screaming crazy things."
She said workers inside the clam bar locked their doors in fear.
"We tried helping people who were trying to come in, customers, but we were scared to even walk out," she said. "We didn't know where he was."
Witnesses said they saw the suspect running toward a garage behind the restaurant. An officer arrested him a few blocks away.