On Monday evening, June 22, police found the body of Tyrelle Shaw, believed to be the man behind a recent string of attacks on Asian women in New York. Shaw appears to have hanged himself in the elevator shaft of a building on the Upper East Side, according to The New York Times.
My mother, who lives in Hong Kong, freaks out every time there's a news story about something happening to an Asian woman in New York. She sends a daily crime digest to my inbox, along with harried commentary. "Did you read this?! A Chinese girl was almost raped in Flushing!" or "A student was robbed at gunpoint near Columbia — don't walk alone at night!" I usually skim through the messages and shrug them off. Those things seem to happen to people I don't know, in neighborhoods I don't normally frequent, and I'm confident in my street smarts. I've lived in NYC for five years, after all.
So, when she zapped over an article about a man who'd allegedly been attacking Asian women in NYC with a blunt object, I was as blasé as ever. I was casually scrolling through the article when a photo of the suspect stopped me dead in my tracks. Suddenly, those headlines didn't seem like things that happen to other people. The man the police named as a suspect in relation to the attacks was someone I knew. I have spoken to Tyrelle D. Shaw in person and online. We have been friends on Facebook for almost three years.
"I’m only talking to Asian women for the rest of my life…Until I get married to an Asian girl."
"Every Asian Woman by herself must be hit in the face...The reason is because I don’t think Asian women like me...So I think it's brilliant to give all Asian Women a legitimate reason to hate me."