3 Chinatown homeless murder victims identified

NEW YORK (AP) — Eighty-three-year-old Chuen Kok, one of the four homeless victims bludgeoned to death with a metal rod as he slept on a Chinatown street, was remembered as a gentle" and "kind" man.

Other homeless men in the neighborhood who knew Kok told The Associated Press he was quiet, kind and well-known to people in the neighborhood.

Stephen Miller, 28, said he would try to give him a pork bun every day, or as often as he could.

"This guy never did anything, just had a life to live. It sucks that he's out here in the rain and everything but it doesn't mean he doesn't have a life to live."

Shirley Ng, 52, told the New York Post during a vigil in Chinatown that Kok was an immigrant from Hong Kong and only spoke Cantonese.

"He was a very gentle man. He never asked for anything. You'd talk to him — he was just a peaceful man," Ng said.

The city's medical examiner on Monday also identified two other victims, 55-year-old Nazario A. Vazquez Villegas and 49-year-old Anthony L. Manson. The identity of the fourth fatal victim is still unknown.

The medical examiner said all four died of blunt impact head trauma with skull fractures and brain injury. A fifth man, David Hernandez, 49, was left in critical condition.

Twenty-four-year-old Randy Santos was carrying a metal rod covered with blood and hair when he was arrested near the scene of the early Saturday attacks, prosecutors said.

Santos was arraigned Sunday on murder and attempted murder charges. He did not enter a plea and was ordered held without bail. He's scheduled to be back in court Oct. 11.

Also on Monday, Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city was deploying additional resources to the Chinatown neighborhood "to aid existing homeless outreach efforts, provide additional social services, and increase security measures."

"What happened over the weekend shakes the conscience of who we are as New Yorkers," the Democratic mayor said in a statement. "We are sending experts to the neighborhood to provide support during this difficult time, and will continue to assess how to prevent tragedies like this from happening in the future."

Chinatown homeless killings