He Died Chasing Men Who Stole His Laptop. Now, a Verdict

2 convicted on murder, manslaughter charges after 2019 Starbucks robbery led to death of Shuo Zeng
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 2, 2020 9:00 AM CST
Updated Nov 11, 2021 9:25 AM CST
A Laptop Theft at Starbucks Ends in Victim's Death
An iced drink sits next to a laptop computer in use at a Starbucks in Seattle on Feb. 11, 2008.   (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Update: Two men have been convicted in a 2019 laptop robbery at a Bay Area Starbucks that left a research engineer dead. The Mercury News reports a jury on Wednesday found 24-year-old Byron Reed guilty of second-degree murder, and 20-year-old Kejuan Wiggins guilty of voluntary manslaughter, in the Dec. 31, 2019, death of Shuo Zeng, who'd turned 34 that day. Wiggins is said to have been the one to swipe Zeng's laptop while he was working on it, leading Zeng to chase after him. Reed was the driver of the getaway BMW, which ran over Zeng, killing him. The two defendants were also found guilty of robbery. Wiggins faces 12 years behind bars, while Reed faces 15 to 30. Per KGO, they'll be sentenced on Jan. 7. Our original story from January 2020 follows:

A California man is dead after chasing down a thief who snatched his laptop from a Starbucks on New Year's Eve. The unidentified man was working from the Starbucks in an east Oakland neighborhood around 11:30am when someone grabbed his computer and ran. A woman seated near the victim saw him chase the suspect into a black SUV waiting in the street. "He was really brave," performing a "superman-type dive" into the SUV, the woman tells KGO. But "there was a struggle and I think they pushed him out and then he got dragged."

Another witness had a slightly different take: that the man's head struck a parked car after he grabbed onto a door handle of the fleeing vehicle, reportedly driven by a masked man, per KGO. "He was bleeding only from the head. His face was purple and blue," says the owner of an adjacent flower shop, per CNN, which reports the victim, initially in critical condition, later died at a hospital. Police announced the arrests of two suspects on Wednesday. "No further information will be released at this time. The investigation continues," a statement reads. (Read more California stories.)

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