NEW YORK – A woman was stabbed to death inside her lower Manhattan apartment by a man who followed her from the street into her building, authorities said.
Christina Yuna Lee, 35, was found fatally wounded in her bathtub at about 4:30 a.m. Sunday, police said. The suspected killer was taken into custody after he at first tried to flee down a fire escape and then barricaded himself inside the apartment, a police spokesperson said.
Police announced Monday that Assamad Nash, 25, was arrested on charges of murder and burglary. It wasn't clear if he had an attorney who could comment on the charges.
Officials including New York Gov. Kathy Hochul and New York City Mayor Eric Adams denounced Lee's killing as the latest in a string of unprovoked attacks on people of Asian descent.
“I join New Yorkers standing together in support of our AAPI friends & neighbors,” Hochul said on Twitter.
Police have not classified Lee’s death as a hate crime, but Adams said the police are investigating and added, “we stand with our Asian community today.”
Several dozen neighborhood residents and their supporters chanted “Enough is enough!” at a rally on Monday near the victim's building. “Our elected officials need to act,” said Susan Lee, who is not related to Christina Lee. “I’m begging them to act so that not another life is lost.”
Christina Lee worked as a senior creative producer at Splice, an online platform for digital music. She was a graduate of Rutgers University and had previously worked for companies including Marriott and the shoe retailer Toms, according to her LinkedIn page.
“Over the weekend, our beloved Christina Lee was senselessly murdered in her home,” Splice officials said in a statement posted on Twitter. “Our hearts are broken. Always dedicated to making beautiful and inclusive artwork, Christina is irreplaceable. As we start to process this tragedy, we ask that you remember Christina Lee as the magical person she was, always filled with joy. We wish peace upon her family in their grief.”
Surveillance video obtained by the New York Post shows a man following Lee into her building on Chrystie Street in Chinatown.
The building's landlord told the Post that cameras posted on every floor showed the man followed Lee all the way up the stairs to her sixth floor apartment. A neighbor heard screaming and called 911, police said.
The killing happened weeks after another woman of Asian descent, Michelle Alyssa Go, was killed by a man who pushed her in front of an oncoming subway train at the Times Square station.
Associated Press video journalist David R. Martin contributed to this report.