Assamad Nash was charged with murder and burglary for the Sunday killing of Christina Yuna Lee. The homeless man allegedly stalked the 35-year-old before following her into her Chinatown apartment and stabbing her. Police are investigating what happened.
According to police reports, the murder took place Sunday morning around 4:30 a.m. Christina Yuna Lee had just arrived home from a night out. Terrifying video footage showed the suspect following her into the Chrystie Street apartment building and up the six floors to her home. Lee never turned around.
“We’ve got cameras on every floor and in the front here,” Brian Chin, owner of the building said. “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.
The building owner added that when Lee got to her apartment, Nash grabbed her door and forced his way in. Neighbors heard the young woman screaming and quickly called 911. According to the police investigation, officers don’t believe the attack was a hate crime and are currently investigating Lee’s death as a random “push in attack.”
When police arrived at the apartment, they were unable to open the door because the suspect had barricaded it from the inside. They tried to break the door with a sledgehammer as the victim screamed from inside.
When police were finally able to get into the apartment, they found Christina Yuna Lee in the bathtub and Assamad Nash under her bed. Nash had tried to flee the apartment via the fire escape but got spooked by an officer on the roof. When police found him, he was covered in Lee’s blood.
Officers pronounced Christina Yuna Lee dead at 5:55 a.m. According to reports, she had multiple stab wounds and officers believe the weapon, a knife found at the scene, was taken from Lee’s kitchen.
“So much blood,” Chin said. “My wife said I should call someone to clean all the blood but I’m going to clean it up myself. It’s the least I can do for that poor girl.”
When police took Assamad Nash into custody, he allegedly told reporters, “I didn’t kill nobody,” according to video footage. According to reports, Nash was a career criminal and had been previously arrested.
Many who knew Christina Yuna Lee are remembering her as a “sweet girl.” Originally from New Jersey, the 35-year-old had moved to New York to work for Splice, a digital music platform as a senior creative producer. She was a graduate of Rutgers University.
According to her LinkedIn page, she had previously created campaigns for Equinox, Twix, TOMS, Cole Haan, Google and ALDO.
Her website said, “Christina’s rich professional background coupled with her myriad personal interests have established a wholly unique intersection of experience in producing multimedia shoots and have paved a point of view that is continuing to track more and more attention across the industry.”
Following her death, Mayor Eric Adams tweeted about the horrific event. He said, “This is the definition of horrific. NYPD is investigating this incident and we stand with our Asian community today. The suspect is in custody, but the conditions that created him remain. The mission of this administration is clear: We won’t let this violence go unchecked.”
Some members of the New York Asian community have spoken out about the crime and are calling for justice. On Monday, many gathered near her apartment to lay flowers and call for change.
Jacky Wong, a member of the Concerned Citizens of East Broadway said, “The list is getting longer and longer. We can’t see an end. We know the Lee family lost a loved one, and we share their pain. I don’t want to jump to the conclusion that Christina is also a victim of hate crime because it’s still pending, the investigation,” he said. “But this is another Asian American who was brutally attacked and what’s worse is that she was killed in her own apartment. It just shatters our community.”
Police continue to investigate the crime.