"Montclair! He was a warrior! He tried to protect his (laptop). He worked hard for that computer," says Waheed, a nearby business owner, who spoke at the vigil.
His praise of Zeng's courage was met with applause from the crowd.
1- People starting to arrive with flowers for a #vigil for Shuo Zeng.#BayArea #Oakland #friendsofshuo— Anser Hassan (@AnserHassan) January 5, 2020
On New Year's Eve, his laptop was stolen at the Montclair #Starbucks. He ran after the thief, was dragged by getaway vehicle and later died.
"The fact that he stood up for himself, I am so deeply sorry that he paid the ultimate price for that," said one of Zeng's co-workers, who also spoke at the vigil.
Zeng died chasing after the man who stole his laptop, while he was working at the Starbucks on New Year's Eve.
Zeng's cousin, Jessie, flew in from the East Coast. She says because of China's one-child policy, she considered her cousin as her older brother.
"When I was little, I was always looking up to him. He was like my role model. He was always there for me, to support me. Every single time, I know that I can count on him," she says.
Shuo Zheng’s #cousin speaking of #China’s one child policy. Says she never felt like an only child because her older cousin was like the older #brother she never had.#family #Oakland #Starbucks #vigil #BayArea #friendsofshuo https://t.co/nLyN40ZbUM pic.twitter.com/YX9Xg1HqvN— Anser Hassan (@AnserHassan) January 5, 2020
Zeng held a PhD in numerical physics. Serban Simu hired Zeng at IBM Aspera in Emeryville. Simu says Zeng was among the top ten global leaders in his field of science.
"(He had) a very powerful brain. Took on and learned a totally new field. And became one of the very few world experts in that field," says Simu.
Zeng's friends and colleagues spoke of his incredible mind, academic achievements and strong sense of ethics, as well as being a good athlete and avid photographer. One of his friends talked about how Zeng instilled a strong sense of hope in others.
"I hope that all of you can take that 'hope' with you when you leave here today. That part of Shuo will never die," he says.
3- #Oakland City Councilmember Sheng Thao, speaking at the #vigil, hopes this incident will be the start of change. #Starbucks #BayArea #friendsofshuo https://t.co/nLyN40ZbUM pic.twitter.com/T7mEOcwH3G— Anser Hassan (@AnserHassan) January 5, 2020
"How many people are here that he asked: how is your country? How is your family? How are your kids? This was Shuo. He was an amazing human being!" says Carmen Enachescu, another of his co-workers.
Zeng's parents flew in from China on Saturday, but they did not attend the vigil. Also because of China's one-child policy, Shuo was their only child.
The post-it note memorial that lines two walls of the Starbucks will be made into a scrapbook and given to Shuo's parents.
2- People have been posting post-it notes at the #Starbucks over the past few days with messages of condolence. Shuo Zeng’s family will be here from #China. #vigil #BayArea #Oakland #friendsofshuo https://t.co/nLyN40ZbUM pic.twitter.com/ttXvarrhWE— Anser Hassan (@AnserHassan) January 5, 2020