NEW YORK — The death of a woman who was fatally stabbed in her Manhattan apartment is the latest in a string of unprovoked attacks on people of Asian descent that has raised concerns in New York City.
Christina Yuna Lee, 35, was found dead in her bathroom early Sunday after her attacker followed her into her Chinatown apartment, according to police statements and local media reports.
While police have not said whether Lee’s killing was being classified as a hate crime, public officials in New York swiftly condemned the thick act.
“This is the definition of horrific. … We stand with our Asian community today,” Major Eric Adams tweeted Sunday.
“We have seen far too many acts of violence against AAPI New Yorkers in recent months. We must make sure every community is safe in our state,” added Gov. Kathy Hochul.
chilling surveillance video published by the New York Post showed Lee walking into her apartment just before 4:30 am Sunday as a man is seen following her in before the door fully closes.
Building owner Brian Chin told CBS New York the attacker followed Lee up to her sixth-floor apartment without her knowing he was there. “Ella She did not do anything wrong. Ella She did not deserve this,” Chin told the TV station.
A neighbor called 911 after hearing screams and the suspect initially tried to flee via the fire escape, but police said he was arrested after having barricaded himself inside the apartment. Lee was found dead at the scene, police said.
Police said Assamad Nash, 25, was charged with murder and burglary. Nash had been charged in multiple other misdemeanor cases in recent months, including assault and property damage, court records show. In those cases, he was being represented by the Legal Aid Society, which declined to comment. It was unclear if he had an attorney in the murder case.
Lee worked at Splice, a digital music platform, the company confirmed to the New York Times. She was a graduate of Rutgers University and had worked in photo and video for companies such as Marriott and Toms, her social media accounts show her.
Lee’s death comes just weeks after another woman of Asian descent, Michelle Alyssa Go, died after being shoved in front of a subway train at the Times Square station. Go’s death also sparked outcry from advocates who said the attack and others in recent months during the pandemic have had a chilling effect on people of Asian descent in the United States.
Last week, a man was charged with second degree murder as a hate crime, weeks after Yao Pan Ma, a 61-year-old Chinese immigrant, died from his injuries stemming from an attack last year.
Do people still care? Times Square subway tragedy amplifies racial trauma for Asians.
There have been more than 10,000 hate incidents against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders since March 2020, according to the latest report from Stop AAPI Hatea group that has been tracking violence and other forms of discrimination and harassment against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The group also surveyed more than 1,000 respondents and found roughly 1 in 5 Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders had experienced a hate incident in the past year.
Contributing: The Associated Press
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism