Fatally stabbed boy saved sister by distracting attacker

Monday, May 13, 2002

PHILADELPHIA -- An 8-year-old boy stabbed to death by an intruder who also killed his mother saved his sister's life by distracting the attacker, authorities said Saturday.

Andy Zheng died trying to save his 12-year-old sister and their mother from a man who came to their apartment Thursday night, apparently to collect a debt from their father, who wasn't there, said Montgomery County District Attorney Bruce L. Castor Jr.

Castor said Saturday that as the attacker stabbed his mother and sister, the boy grabbed his arm, and that his sister would "be dead if he hadn't done that."

The mother, Yu Qin Zheng, 35, was killed in the attack, but 12-year-old Mindy Zheng was able to break away and call police. Police arrested Chang Qi, 46. He was arraigned on murder, attempted murder, burglary and other charges.

Police interviewed Mindy Zheng in the hospital, who said her brother tried to pull away Qi, who was wearing a Halloween mask and armed with a knife and a stun gun. Eventually, Castor said, Qi shifted his focus and started stabbing the boy, giving the girl time to call 911.

Attempted escape

Qi jumped out a second-story window and shattered his leg after police broke down the door. He and the daughter were hospitalized in fair condition. Police believe Qi once worked for Zheng, but they did not know details about the debt.

"I don't know, I got so mad. I wanted to kill everybody," police quoted Chang Qi as saying. It was unclear Saturday if he had retained an attorney.

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