A New York City woman was stabbed to death in her Chinatown home Sunday by a man who allegedly followed her into the building and up six flights of stairs to her apartment, police and her landlord said.
Christina Yuna Lee had just returned home from a Saturday night out when she was followed into her building by her alleged assailant and up to her apartment, her landlord, Brian Chin, told NBC New York.
“She opened the door and he just slipped in right behind her. She never even knew he was there,” Chin said. “She walked up six flights of stairs and this man mercilessly stalked her.”
Police responded to a 911 call just before 4:30 a.m. about a dispute on the 100 block of Chrystie Street and found “a barricaded individual” inside the apartment, according to the New York City Police Department.
Officers were initially unable to enter the unit. Emergency service unit officers responded and were able to enter, where authorities found Lee, 35, in the bathroom, police said.
An NYPD spokesperson told NBC News she was stabbed. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
The suspect was taken into custody, police said Sunday. On Monday, police announced that Assamad Nash, 25, was arrested and charged with murder and burglary in connection to Lee's death.
Police also confirmed the man was seen following Lee into her building behind her. The New York Post obtained video footage showing the alleged suspect following Lee in.
According to records, Nash has three pending court cases on charges that include intentional damage to property, harassment, assault and unauthorized sale of a fare card. He was due back in court in all three cases on March 9.
"This was his eighth arrest since May 2021," the NYPD said in a tweet about Nash on Monday.
Splice, the company Lee worked at, tweeted a tribute Monday.
“Over the weekend our beloved Christina Lee was senselessly murdered in her home,” the statement said. “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.”
Mayor Eric Adams said in a statement Sunday, “We won’t let this violence go unchecked.”
“I and New Yorkers across the city mourn for the innocent woman murdered in her home last night in Chinatown and stand with our Asian brothers and sisters today,” he said.
“The NYPD is investigating this horrific incident, and I thank them for apprehending the suspect. While the suspect who committed this heinous act is now in custody, the conditions that created him remain,” he added.
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said in a statement Sunday, “I’m mourning this tragic & heartbreaking loss of life.”
“We have seen far too many acts of violence against AAPI New Yorkers in recent months. We must make sure every community is safe in our state,” she added.
A rally was scheduled for Monday morning in wake of Lee’s death to speak against violent hate crimes against Asian American New Yorkers. Police haven’t stated whether Lee’s killing is considered a hate crime.
Her death comes as crimes against Asian Americans have soared during the coronavirus pandemic. In December, the NYPD reported that incidents targeting Asians rose by 361 percent.
CORRECTION (Feb. 14, 2022, 10:35 p.m. ET): A previous version of this article misstated when New York Gov. Kathy Hochul tweeted a statement about Lee’s death. It was Sunday, not Monday.