Christina Yuna Lee was stabbed more than 40 times by homeless man, prosecutor says
NEW YORK - The homeless man charged with following a woman into her Lower East Side apartment and killing her, stabbed her more than 40 times, according to prosecutors.
Christina Yuna Lee, 35, was followed up to her sixth-floor apartment at 111 Chrystie Street at about 4:30 a.m. Sunday. Police responded to a 911 call about screaming when they found Assamad Nash, 25, barricaded inside the apartment, said police.
Emergency Service Unit personnel responded and were able to get into the apartment where they found Lee dead in the bathtub with trauma to her body.
Nash was found hiding under the bed with a yellow-handled knife hidden behind a dresser. He was taken into custody and was evaluated at Bellevue Hospital. He had a stab wound to his torso and cuts on his hands and shoulders, according to prosecutors.
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Lee's body was naked from the waist up, said prosecutors.
The motive for the attack remained unclear. Prosecutors charged Nash with murder, burglary and sexually motivated burglary.
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On Tuesday, a rally was held outside Lee's building by the Korean American Association of Greater New York calling for the end to the senseless violence against Asian Americans in the city..
Prosecutors say that Nash was out on supervised release on three open cases, including one where he allegedly punched a stranger on the subway. They say he has an extensive record in New Jersey.
Officials including Mayor Eric Adams denounced Lee's killing as the latest in a string of unprovoked attacks on people of Asian descent.
"This is the definition of horrific," Mayor Eric Adams said in a tweet Sunday. "@NYPDNews is investigating this incident and we stand with our Asian community today."
"The suspect is in custody, but the conditions that created him remain," Adams continued. "The mission of this administration is clear: We won't let this violence go unchecked."
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The owner of the building, Brian Chin, said that Lee had just moved to New York City within the past year.
"This is you know, as landlords we have a responsibility to protect tenants. I've done everything," Chin said. "As I said that door, it's solid steel, solid steel, double-walled steel that kept the SWAT team out for five minutes. We can't protect against monsters like this. No matter how much we invest, it comes down to our elected officials."
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.
On Monday the company tweeted: "RIP our beautiful friend and colleague Christina Lee.
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.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.