The husband of a Brooklyn woman bludgeoned to death by a hammer-wielding attacker apologized to his slain wife and pleaded for their two injured kids to pull through — as sources on Thursday revealed there had been simmering tensions between the mom and her accused killer leading up to the horrific crime.
Zhao Zhao, 43, was killed and her two children — a 5-year-old son and 3-year-old daughter — were left fighting for their lives after they were attacked inside their Sunset Park apartment Wednesday afternoon, cops said.
“My dear wife, I owe you an apology,” Zhao’s widower wrote in a post on the Chinese social media platform WeChat.
“I hope you can bless our child to get through this difficult time. My kids, dad just hopes you can get through this,” he added, alongside a photo of the couple’s smiling children.
The siblings, who were rushed to NYU Langone Hospital Brooklyn in the wake of the attack, remained in critical condition Thursday, police said.
Their father primarily lived in Ohio, where he worked in a restaurant, but would come to the Big Apple to visit his wife and kids at least once a month, neighbors told The Post.
Meanwhile, the alleged attacker, Liyong Ye, 47 — who lived in the same three-bedroom apartment as the victims — has since been charged with murder and attempted murder in connection to the senseless beatings, police said.
Cops haven’t revealed a motive for the attack, but law enforcement sources said the suspect and victim had been fighting over the use of the shared kitchen and Wi-Fi, as well as noise complaints.
They had lived together for years and their frustrations had been building, the sources added.
Ye had been living in one of the rooms with his 9-year-old son, while the slain woman and her family shared another room. Another person rents the third room.
The suspect quickly lawyered up and didn’t make any statements to cops after his arrest, according to sources.
Ye, who was taken to Maimonides Medical Center early Thursday after telling cops he was feeling faint, didn’t utter a word when he was later perp-walked from the 72nd Precinct ahead of his pending arraignment in Brooklyn Criminal Court.
He has no prior arrests and doesn’t appear to have a history of mental health issues, according to cops.
The alleged attacker — who had blood on him — was nabbed Wednesday afternoon trying to walk out of the apartment building on 52nd Street by officers responding to a 911 call of an “assault in progress,” police said.
The battered mom and her two kids were found inside their cramped room on the second floor of the building.
Harrowing footage showed cops carrying the bloodied kids out of the apartment before they were rushed to the hospital.
A bloody hammer was later recovered inside the building, cops said.
Shocked neighbors described the horror, telling The Post the children were “covered from head to toe, everything was blood.”
“I heard the sirens, so I just came out to see what was going on, and at the same time I saw the two police officers, each carrying a bloody baby in his arms and then putting it in the ambulance,” said Kokila Frank, 69, a retired librarian, who lives across the street.
“Just two or three days ago we saw the kids playing, and then this happens,” Frank added. “Don’t do this to babies, not to anyone, but especially babies. It’s sad.”
Additional reporting by Amanda Woods and Joe Marino
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