The father of a 16-year-old boy shot the morning of April 9 in a bizarre killing in the Silver Terrace area said he believes the act was premeditated, not an accident as defense lawyers stated.
During a news conference held Thursday afternoon by Asian Pacific American Community Center, Zhi-Xiang Zeng, Andy Zeng’s father, sat hunched under a grey baseball cap, his face hidden by a surgical mask to conceal his identity. He wiped tears from his eyes as he wept silently.
“I don’t think this was an accident,” he said through a translator. “The way they were out to destroy the corpse of my son. I think it was premeditated. We hope justice will prevail.”
A 15-year-old suspect, who The San Francisco Examiner is not naming because he is a minor, shot Andrew Zeng with a .22-caliber handgun in the unnamed boy’s home at 2138 Quesada Ave., prosecutors and police say.
Attorneys for the 15-year-old said their client did not think the gun was loaded.
According to prosecutors, after the shooting the 15-year-old called three or four others to help him dispose of the body. One of the accused members of the cleanup crew, 18-year-old Jimmy Lei, allegedly suggested cutting the body in half with a knife in order to make it easier to dispose of. The teens then doused the floor in gasoline to burn the body, prosecutors said. The matches the teens allegedly used were too damp to start the fire.
The boy is being charged with murder, but not as an adult. Lei is also being charged as an adult with a count of accessory to murder after the fact. He has pleaded not guilty.
The press conference in the Visitacion Valley neighborhood was to announce a memorial fund that was opened in Andrew Zeng’s honor and to help his family pay for funeral costs. Officials with the Asian community center said Zhi-Xiang Zeng has been out of work for more than a year. Both the economic downturn and the loss of their only son have put a strain on the family both emotionally and financially.
Costs for a funeral are estimated to be more than $10,000. The Zengs qualify for victim compensation, which would be $5,000 from the state, but the District Attorney’s Office would not comment if the family has received such assistance.
Donations can be made at Cathay Bank in Andrew Zeng’s name.