When a gunman confronted Dereck Chen and his three friends in an elevator of a Brooklyn BJ’s wholesale store on Thursday, the 19-year-old from Bensonhurst gave up his backpack.
But as the elevator reached the bottom floor around 10:15 a.m., Chen had a change of heart and fought back against the armed bandit.
It was his last defiant act. The assailant shot him twice in the face and neck at the Shore Parkway big-box store in Bath Beach, killing Chen, police say.
The other men fled, as did the 18-year-old gunman.
Medics rushed Chen to NYU Langone Hospital-Brooklyn, but he could not be saved.
Police tracked down the suspect nearby and arrested him as he tried to jump in Gravesend Bay, behind the BJ’s building, police said. A 9mm handgun was recovered.
Charges against the suspect, who has no prior arrests, were pending. He lives in Bensonhurst, about a mile from where Chen lived. Police did not immediately release the suspect’s name.