When a gunman confronted Dereck Chen and his three friends in the elevator of the Brooklyn BJ’s wholesale store on Thursday, the 19-year-old from Bensonhurst gave up his backpack.
But as the lift reached the bottom floor shortly at 10:15 a.m., Chen had a change of heart and fought back against the armed bandit to get back his belongings.
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.
The other men fled, as did the 18-year-old gunman.
Medics rushed 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. His 9mm handgun was recovered, police said.
Charges against the suspect, who has no prior arrests, were pending. He lives in Bensonhurst, about a mile from where Chen lived.