Tyrelle Shaw, the 25-year-old named by police late last week as the suspect in a series of physical assaults targeting Asian American women in New York City has been found dead of an apparent suicide.
Shaw had been the target of a police manhunt for the last several days after law enforcement was tipped off by friends and family that he had posted a series of blog posts that appeared to confess to the assaults — four Asian American women had reported to police in the previous week that an unknown man had beaten them with a blunt object wrapped in a plastic bag. In three of the four attacks, the man had attempted to speak to the women, and in the two most recent cases has made disparaging remarks and rape threats.
Shaw described his motivation for the assaults in his blog, saying he had victimized six random women in the serial attacks he called ‘The Nose Game’ as punishment to Asian American women for not reciprocating his romantic attempts: only four had been reported. shaw write that he planned to assault many more Asian American women, and earlier posts document hours spent harassing and stalking Asian American and posting their pictures without permission. Police had been investigating the most recent violent incidents as hate crimes.
Shaw’s body was found today in the basement of a Manhattan apartment building, in a manner consistent with the details of an apparent suicide note posted to his blog in the middle of last week. He had apparently been dead for some time before being discovered today, also consistent with what he had posted.
I remain truly disgusted by Shaw’s alleged racially motivated sexual harassment and assaults on New York City’s Asian American female population, however no person deserves to die by suicide. Although Asian American women in NYC can now rest a little easier knowing that Shaw is no longer waging a misogynistic and racist war on our community, I earnestly wish this story could have turned out with Shaw apprehended alive to face criminal justice (and mental health help).
If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, please call 1-800-273-8255 to reach the National Suicide Prevention Hotline.