"I saw him on Tuesday and he was fine," said the victim's friend, Taegun Lee.
Lee says Yang was working hard putting in long hours as an assistant chef at a Manhattan restaurant.
"I took the same route. Same day, same night, but a little bit earlier it might have been me," Lee said.
Police say that Yang was shot once around 12:30 on Thursday morning as he walked along 232nd Street in Riverdale. His family lives just a few blocks away.
Yang was pronounced dead at the hospital.
Investigators are still looking for the gunman who went through Yang's pockets, took his iPhone and ran away.
James Kim is a family friend who talked to Eyewitness News on behalf of the victim's father, who is beside himself. Kim says he can't imagine life without Hwang Yang, a hard worker who dreamed big.
"He doesn't smoke. He doesn't drink. He is just working in a restaurant. He's just saving his money. One of his goals was to open his own restaurant," Kim said.
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