Tributes from friends, colleagues, and neighbours poured in for Michelle Alyssa Go, a New York businesswoman who was shoved to death in front of a subway on Saturday.
“She was incredibly smart,” her neighbour Olivia Henderson told the New York Times as she fought back tears. “She was just the person who did everything right.”
An employee with Deloitte, Go, 40, was about to step onto a subway in Times Square when a 61-year-old homeless man pushed her on the tracks, according to the police. She died on the spot.
“This incident was unprovoked, and the victim does not appear to have had any interaction with the subject,” NYPD Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell said.
Police identified the man as Simon Martial and charged him with murder. The killing has raised concerns about anti-Asian hate crimes, with police adding that they are probing whether it was a racist attack.
“This latest attack causing the death of an Asian American woman in the Times Square subway station is particularly horrifying for our community,” Margaret Fung, executive director of the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, was quoted as saying by NBC New York.
“These attacks have left Asian Americans across the city and across the country feeling vulnerable and they must stop,” she added.
Jonathan Gandal, a managing director at Deloitte, said the company was “doing all we can to support her family and friends during this terribly painful time.”
“We are shocked and deeply saddened by the loss of our colleague in this senseless act of violence,” he told the New York Times.
“I’m saddened by it, this is hitting so close to home for a person that I know was a good person,” Lamar Griffin, 59, who works at the front desk of Go’s former apartment building on the Upper West Side, told Daily News on Sunday. “I didn’t know her deeply, but the interactions we had for the last two years or so, she was a good person and it hurts talking about it.”
Dayna Barlow Cassidy, president of a women-led charity the New York League said Go, who volunteered for the group for over 10 years “served many women and children” within the community. “Michelle will be missed by many friends,” she told the Daily News.“We call upon the city’s leadership to urgently address the lack of mental health and other supports for underserved communities.”
Tamas Erdos, who graduated from NYU with Go in 2010, remembered her as a “key member” of a group project they had worked on while in school. “She was really reliable, dependable and fun,” he told the New York Post. “She was a super person to have on the team.”