A 35-year-old Asian woman was fatally stabbed inside of her apartment at 111 Chrystie Street in Chinatown on Sunday morning, authorities said.
According to the NYPD, police responded to a 911 called about a disturbance just before 4:30 a.m., but when officers arrived they encountered the suspect barricaded inside and could not gain access until the Emergency Service Unit arrived.
The police said that the woman was found in the bathroom with trauma and was pronounced dead on the scene. On Sunday night police identified the woman as Christina Yuna Lee. The suspect, Assamad Nash, 25, was taken into custody.
The investigation is ongoing, police said, including whether the incident will be categorized as a hate crime.
The NY Post reported that surveillance footage showed the suspect "trailing" Lee and following her into the building. The building owner, who provided the footage, told them, "She got out of a cab right here and he followed her. He grabbed the front door just before it closed. He followed her all the way up, hanging back, staying one floor behind her all the way up to the sixth floor. Then, he waited until her door was just about closed and he went in.”
Governor Kathy Hochul, Mayor Eric Adams, and other local officials denounced the attack.
In a tweet, Adams called the incident "the definition of horrific," and in a statement he released on Sunday, said New Yorkers were mourning the woman and would "stand with our Asian brothers and sisters." He added that even though the suspect is in custody, "the conditions that created him remain."
At a press conference held on Sunday afternoon at nearby Sara D. Roosevelt Park, Assemblywoman Yuh-Line Niou said, "This is so gruesome and so horrible and so cruel. Our communities deserve answers and we haven’t been given any. It is time to acknowledge that we exist and that the mental health crisis that is leading to an uptick in violent assaults is a problem and support our community for a change.”
State Senator John Liu was also in attendance, and called for change: "Now, maybe this is a hate crime. Maybe this is not a hate crime. But it’s yet another Asian woman... and the city continues to seemingly talk about long-term solutions without providing the relief that the community needs and demands right now."
On Monday at 10:30 a.m., community members plan to hold a rally at a park across from the victim's apartment, where they will speak out against violent crimes against Asian American New Yorkers. In a press release organizers say they will be joined by civic leaders, NYC officials, and members of the NYPD, who will speak at the event.
This story has been updated to include the suspect and victim's names.