NEW YORK — A city man has been arrested and charged in connection with the stabbing death of a woman inside her Chinatown apartment building over the weekend.
The NYPD says Assamad Nash, 25, of Manhattan is charged with murder and burglary.
Police say officers responded to a 911 call around 4:20 a.m. Sunday reporting a dispute inside an apartment at 111 Chrystie Street.
When the officers entered the apartment, they found Christina Yuna Lee, 35, in the bathroom with trauma to her body, the NYPD said. Police sources said the woman had been stabbed.
She was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police say Nash was found barricaded inside the apartment.
He was taken into custody after the incident and was evaluated at Bellevue Hospital as of Sunday afternoon, police said.
Investigators believe he may have followed the victim into the building, the police sources said. Detectives are still looking to determine whether the incident was a hate crime.
Sources say Nash has been arrested several times before, most recently in September and December of 2021. Records from the Manhattan district attorney's office show Nash is facing several charges in relation to those incidents including criminal mischief, resisting arrest, harassment and assault.
The assault charges stem from an incident on September 28 on the same block where Sunday’s murder happened.
Nash was arraigned in criminal court Monday night, remanded by Judge Jay Weiner.
Nash is due back in court Friday.
Mayor Eric Adams on Sunday called the woman’s death “the definition of horrific.”
“[The NYPD] is investigating this incident and we stand with our Asian community today,” Adams tweeted. “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.”
By Monday afternoon, Lee’s employer released a statement regarding her death, referring to her as a “magical person,” who was “always filled with joy."
Most recently, Lee worked as a producer in the music industry.
Before that, she worked for nearly five years at the Eli Klein Gallery.
Klein hired Lee fresh out of college.
“I wouldn’t be in the same place in my life and career if it wasn’t for Christina,” Klein said. “She's just the nicest, sweetest, coolest person.”
“She certainly didn't deserve anything violent at all, much less the most heinous way to have her life end,” said Klein. “If this happened to Christina, this could happen to anyone. I mean, she was someone who was street smart, was completely capable.”
Klein remembers Lee at the most hard-working person he knew, someone who was reliable with a great attitude.
“The opening receptions that we had for exhibitions at my gallery never would have been the same without Christina's energy and vibrancy,” Klein said. “Looking back at some of the photos we have of these opening events, it's obvious right away who was lighting up the room, and it wasn't me, it was Christina.”