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A 51-year-old New York City man accused of gunning down a Chinese food delivery driver in a dispute over duck sauce has been found dead in an apparent suicide after missing a court date, according to his attorney.
Glenn Hirsch missed his Friday court appearance, prompting the sheriff's office to check on his ankle monitor, Arthur Aidala, his defense attorney, told Fox News Digital.
The monitor pinged at his home, and officers dispatched for a wellness check found him dead from an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound inside, Aidala said. They also found a note, but he had few additional details and had not read it himself.
Police confirmed they found a male deceased at Hirsch's 141st Street address Friday but said they could not immediately disclose more details.
Hirsch is accused of killing Zhiwen Yan, a 45-year-old driver for the Great Wall restaurant, on April 30. He allegedly followed Yan around town before walking up to him at a red light and shot him once in the chest.
Adiala said he last spoke with Hirsch Wednesday and that his client had continued to maintain his innocence.
"Bottom line was the guy was proclaiming his innocence from the beginning to the end," Aidala told Fox News Digital Friday. "What he had told us, he was afraid he was just being set up and that he was gonna go to jail for something he didn't do."
Hirsch's family was still processing the news, he added.
"The loss of a human life is always tragic," Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said in a statement. "Obviously, we would have preferred to try Mr. Glenn Hirsch for the calculated murder of Mr. Zhiwen Yan in a court of law, but this is no longer an option. We once again express our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Zhiwen Yan, who continue to grieve his tragic and senseless loss."
Prosecutors allege Hirsch had been irate with the restaurant for months after a November 2021 incident in which he ordered extra duck sauce. According to authorities, the restaurant gave him extra packets, but "he became irate" anyway and wanted to return the food. The restaurant declined to take the food back, citing the coronavirus pandemic.
Hirsch was subsequently accused of going back to the restaurant in a mask and vandalizing an employee's car and allegedly threatened to shoot Yan in December. A month later, he allegedly told another restaurant worker "I will kill your entire family" and slashed the tires of another car.
"A petty dispute over a take-out order became an obsessive point of contention for the defendant who began to stalk and harass employees at the restaurant for months," DA Katz said after Hirsch's indictment in June. "The tragic end result was the murder of a hard-working employee, who left behind a devastated family and a grieving community. Gun violence is never the answer and will not be tolerated in Queens County. Following a thorough investigation by my Office and the NYPD, the defendant has been apprehended and will now face justice in our Courts."
On the night of Yan's murder, prosecutors allege, Hirsch was seen on surveillance video passing the restaurant seven times. Yan left for a delivery around 9:30 p.m. Hirsch followed.
Hirsch had been released on $500,000 bail. He was facing a maximum of life in prison.