The suspect in a series of attacks targeting Asian women was found dead yesterday. Police say that suspect Tyrelle Shaw, 25, was found "unconscious and unresponsive" in the basement of 766 Madison Avenue on the Upper East Side.
Shaw's friends contacted the police after recognizing him from surveillance images of the person who attacked Asian women in four separate Manhattan incidents. In each instance, the attacker would strike the woman with a hard object in a bag, sometimes after trying to engage her in conversation. One victim said, "He said all Asian girls doesn't talk to me. He can never get their phone number. I just ignore him. I didn't say anything. And then just after next second he just hit my face."
Shaw, who attended FIT and created whimsical bow ties, was also writing increasingly bizarre blog posts that detailed his obsession with Asian women. In a long, rambling post dated June 17, Shaw explained, "I just couldn’t understand why Asian Women didn’t find me attractive. Suddenly, I assumed the ones that I am attracted to use cocaine so I decided to play a game. Bash Asian Women in the Nose so that they could stop sniffing cocaine and give me a chance. At first I thought I could get away with 1 Million Noses, but at 6th victim I felt a little discouraged."
Then he wrote that he was going to kill himself: "Actually, I’ve already tied a noose to the bottom of an elevator and I’m going to wait until someone pushes a button so that its not considered a practical suicide."
According to the Post, "A worker for Danvie Nails and Spa on the 2nd floor of 766 Madison Avenue notified the superintendent after there was a pungent smell circulating inside the building for the past three days." A ground floor gallery employee said, "At first we thought it was a large rat decomposing, but it just had this intense stench of death."
The building's super found the body "hanging in the basement" around 3 p.m. A police official told the NY Times, "He said he was going to hang himself in an elevator shaft, and that’s exactly what he did." The Times adds, "The police do not suspect foul play, the official said, and investigators are trying to determine why the man chose the building and how he gained access to it."
In his most recent blog post, published last Thursday (possibly as a scheduled posting), Shaw complained about being rejected by women on the street and explained why he turned to violence: "Truthfully, I feel so much better after hitting an asian Woman in the face with a steel rod. It was the greatest achievement of my life."
If someone you know exhibits warning signs of suicide: do not leave the person alone; remove any firearms, alcohol, drugs or sharp objects that could be used in a suicide attempt; and call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or take the person to an emergency room or seek help from a medical or mental health professional.