Christina Yuna Lee Fatally Stabbed in Her Own Apartment


Courtesy of the New York Post

By Eunho Jung, Senior Editor

In the early hours of Sunday, February 13, surveillance footage captured Christina Yuna Lee returning to her Chinatown apartment at approximately 4:23 AM. Making her way up to her apartment on the sixth floor, Lee was unaware of the man trailing close behind her following her home.

Assamad Nash, 25, followed her to the sixth floor, staying one floor below her until she reached her front door when Nash waited until the door was about to be closed and barged in. Nash brutally stabbed Lee with a knife from her kitchen and tried to flee via the fire escape.

Around 4:30 AM, one of Lee’s sixth-floor neighbors heard her desperate pleas for help and immediately called 911. Lee was found in her bathtub, while Nash was found under her bed by law enforcement officers upon arriving on the scene. Lee was pronounced dead at 5:55 AM by FDNY medics.

According to sources, Nash is a homeless criminal with three open cases and a record of several escapes from police custody. In January 2021, he was charged with 27 counts of criminal mischief for damaging MetroCard machines.

On Monday, February 14, Nash was remanded or kept in prison by Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Jay Weiner. Prosecutors also revealed Yuna Lee was stabbed over 40 times by Nash. According to court documents, Nash is charged with one count of first-degree murder, one count of first-degree burglary, and one count of sexually motivated burglary.

On Sunday, New York City Mayor Eric Adams denounced Lee’s attack in a statement. “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,” the mayor said.

Lee, 35, graduated from Rutgers University in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in art history and was working as a creative producer for Splice, an online music platform. She was described as “irreplaceable” by those in her life.

Although Lee’s death has not yet been classified as a hate crime by law enforcement, it is a part of the recent string of attacks against the Asian American community. Michelle Go, a Chinese-American woman, was recently pushed in front of a moving subway by a homeless man just a little over a month ago.

According to updated FBI data, anti-Asian hate crimes rose 73% last year amidst the COVID-19 pandemic sparking racist and baseless suggestions that an entire race was responsible for the global pandemic.

At the height of the surge of the anti-Asian hate crimes last year, six Asian-American women were gunned down in a spa in Atlanta, Georgia in March of 2021.

Lee’s death is another fatal example of the rise of hate crimes and violence in metropolitan areas, especially New York City.

Eunice Chi, a junior at Wayne Hills High School and a Staff Writer for the Patriot Press, shared her reaction to the tragic death of Lee. “I think that there is 100% a possibility that this was a hate crime, the fact that this happened at the same time as a rise in violence against Asian Americans should not be dismissed as a coincidence,” said Chi. “The violent nature of this crime also suggests a personal [or] racially fueled motive, and until we know more about the crime, we should not ignore her race as a factor in her death.”