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NYPD Investigating Killing Of Woman In Chinatown Building

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- A woman walking home early Sunday morning was killed in Chinatown.

The NYPD has arrested the man it says stalked her and killed her inside her own building, CBS2's Thalia Perez reported.

Police say they were called to the scene at 111 Chrystie St. after receiving a 911 call just after 4 a.m., adding when officers arrived the suspect barricaded himself in the victim's apartment. The Emergency Services Unit was called to help and was able to get inside.

That's where police said they found 35-year old Christina Yuna Lee with trauma to her body. She was later pronounced dead. Police said they are investigating whether the suspect and victim knew each other, but they believe he followed her home and then into the apartment building.

"She did not do anything wrong. She did not deserve this," building owner Brian Chin said.

Chin said the victim had lived on the sixth floor of the building for less than a year.

"He followed her up all six flights and she never even knew that he was there," Chin said.

Chin said after she opened her apartment door the suspect pushed his way in. Police say when they arrived at the building the suspect had barricaded himself in the apartment.

"That door is solid steel, solid steel, double-walled steel. It kept that SWAT team out for five minutes," Chin said. "We can't protect against monsters like this, no matter how much we invest. It comes down to our elected officials."

Mayor Eric Adams released the following statement in response to the stabbing:

"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 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. The mission of this administration is clear: We won't let this violence go unchecked."

Perez spoke with a neighbor, who said she has been on edge since the incident happened and has several friends in the building whom she said she checks on regularly.

"They're so scared. They're three women, elderly, living here and they didn't hear anything. It's so scary," Phylie Pau said. "We used to be able to walk around this area around 9 or 10. Not anymore. Now, after after 7 p.m., no one walks here."

Police said the suspect is currently being held at Bellevue Hospital and is undergoing an evaluation.

A motive for Lee's killing remains unclear and security experts say due to some of the dangers on our streets it's a good time to remind people of some guidelines to follow when traveling after dark. They stress trying to walk in well-lit areas with someone else or in groups and always check your surroundings.

"Trust our guts. If you see someone on the block that you're not completely familiar with, especially in the middle of the night, cross the street, get on your phone," retired NYPD Chief Joe Fox said.

Neighbors said they're holding a rally on Monday morning across the street from the scene to denounce the attack and other recent crimes in the area.

CBS2's Thalia Perez contributed to this report.

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