A hard-working Chinese food delivery man was shot and killed while on the clock in Queens Saturday night — and now cops are probing whether the gunman is a disgruntled customer who had “multiple disputes” with the restaurant over his orders, sources told The Post.
Zhiwen Yan, 45, was on his scooter and making a delivery near 108th Street and 67th Drive in Forest Hills around 9:30 p.m. when he was blasted once in the chest and mortally wounded, police said on Sunday.
Sources said cops are now eying a 50-year-old customer who has an ongoing beef with staff at Great Wall on Queens Boulevard, allegedly menacing them with a gun in January and twice vandalizing their vehicles.
One witness told police the angry customer drove off from the Forest Hills restaurant in an older model Lexus RX3 SUV after one encounter — the same type of vehicle spotted fleeing the scene of Saturday’s shooting, the sources said.
No arrests have been made in the case.
Yan leaves behind a wife and three kids, ages 2, 12 and 14.
“This was a father of three children working three jobs — all food delivery,” the dead man’s nephew, who identified himself as Michael, said outside the family’s home in Middle Village on Sunday.
“He came here in 2001,” he said. “He has been in this country over 20 years. I would like to know why this murder took place. I would like to find out the truth and get justice. This was a brutal murder.”
“It’s unacceptable that this happened,” Michael added. “This is a very peaceful community. This never happened, this kind of issue.”
Yan’s grief-stricken widow, Eva Zhao, burst into tears after coming out from the home — the couple’s young daughter in the doorway behind her.
Yan, of Queens, was found unconscious at the scene after police responded to a 911 call, and rushed to Elmhurst Hospital, according to police.
He was pronounced dead at the hospital.
According to a GoFundMe page posted on Sunday for Yan’s three children, the shooting was “a random act of road rage” while he was on a delivery run for Chinese restaurant Great Wall.
Sooi Chung, Zhiwen’s co-worker at Great Wall, said that an irate customer had been harassing employees for months.
“He slashed the boss’s tires one time. And one night, in December or January, he pulled a gun on my boss,” Chung said. “We reported him to the police, and he stopped bothering us.”
A memorial began to grow outside the restaurant, which was closed Sunday, with mourners leaving flowers outside.
“He still had the order with him,” Sooi Chung, 70, who worked with Yan at the restaurant, told The Post. “When he got shot, the police found the bag with the food with our menu inside.”
“We are very sad,” Chung said. “Everybody liked him. We just don’t know what happened to him. He died young.”
Witnesses told cops a Lexus was seen fleeing the scene, sources told The Post.
“He was super nice and worked so hard,” former neighbor Yang Pan, 20, said of the slain man on Sunday. “I would never see him not working.
“When I talked to him he was always nice and he laughed,” said Pan, who lived in the same Elmhurst building as Yan until his family moved.
“I felt like I had a heart attack when I heard he died. I can’t believe this,” she added. “It’s just so sad. I’m heartbroken.”
Outside Yan’s home, Rep. Grace Meng, a Queens Democrat, joined several community activists and called the fatal shooting “unnerving.”
“It’s my district. They are my neighbors,” Meng said. “People are terrified that this could happen in the middle of a relatively safe neighborhood in Queens. And so people are really scared.”
In a statement, City Councilwoman Lynn Schulman denounced the slaying.
“This incident has sent shock waves across our neighborhood, which is considered one of the safest in Queens,” the statement said. “The fact is gun violence is an epidemic in our country and it has touched on every corner.”
Yan migrated from China more than 20 years ago and delivers for the eatery seven days a week, the GoFundMe page said.
The page had raised more than $36,000 by Sunday evening and has a goal of $100,000.
Cops are now scouring the neighborhood for surveillance footage of the shooting.