Why the stabbing death of Christina Yuna Lee reaches far beyond New York City

The stabbing death of 35-year-old Christina Yuna Lee in her Lower Manhattan apartment is reverberating around the country, with calls from coast to coast to do more to stop Asian hate.

Police said Lee was coming home Saturday night and was walking up six flights of stairs to her apartment when a homeless man named Assamad Nash, 25, followed her into her unit and stabbed her more than 40 times. She was found in her bathtub. 

The motive for Lee's attack remained unclear. Prosecutors charged Nash with murder, burglary and sexually motivated burglary and at this point, there is no hate crime enhancement. 

Immediately, many thought about another horrific death of a woman of Asian descent in New York last month and some similarities between the two. 

Michelle Alyssa Go. a native of Fremont, Calif., was pushed to her death by a homeless man into the path of an oncoming subway train at the Times Square station in New York City last month. 

Police in both cases have not determined whether the women's race was a motive in their deaths. Lee was Korean American. Go was Chinese American. 

RELATED: Who is Assamad Nash, the NY man accused of killing Christina Yuna Lee?

However, their murders serve as a reminder to the AAPI community around the country that there is still a lot of violence against the Asian American community. And when one community member is harmed, everyone feels affected. 

"Every time we have an event like this that happens, I boil in anger for days," Amy Lee said after organizing a gathering in San Francisco to mourn Go's death.

Tributes to both women are spreading on social media. Vigils have been held. And fed-up community members are demanding action from political leaders and wondering what more can be done to keep Asian-Americans safe. 

Jennifer Li, 32, an Oakland Chinatown community activist who used to live in New York, has been following both cases closely. 

"This is something that all women fear," Li said. "And then on top of that, these were Asian women. We're seen as easier targets. Society has taught us who is easier to pick on. We're seen as submissive or smaller. It's scary and exhausting." 

On top of that, the San Francisco Bay Area has a huge Asian American population, Li noted, and the location of a crime – like New York -- is not as important as the community member who it happened to. 

And while San Francisco has had its share of violent attacks against Asians, New York was the center of the latest two murders that have captured national attention. 

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul and New York City Mayor Eric Adams denounced Lee’s killing as the latest in a string of unprovoked attacks on people of Asian descent.

"I join New Yorkers standing together in support of our AAPI friends & neighbors," Hochul said on Twitter.

Adams added that the police are investigating and added, "we stand with our Asian community today."

Christina Lee worked as a senior creative producer at Splice, an online platform for digital music based on California and New York.  Her company called her a "magical person" on Twitter. 

She was a graduate of Rutgers University and had previously worked for companies including Marriott and the shoe retailer Toms, according to her LinkedIn page.

Li, who also works for San Francisco Supervisor Hillary Ronen, said that it's unfair that accomplished women returning home from a night out have to be even more hyper vigilant than they already are. 

"All she did was take a cab home," Li said. "So now women can't go out unless they're out with a man?" 

As for her family, Li said she and her brother have long been wanting their mother to take a self-defense class. She is an older Asian woman, who looks like she could be an easy target, she said. 

"She clearly looks like an immigrant woman," Li said. 

She added that she has sympathy for both defendants who are homeless and likely suffer from mental illness. More resources need to go to help these issues, Li said, but more resources also need to go to help victims of violent crimes, including language services. 

"We can have vigils," Li said. "But then what can we do? We need to start shifting this public narrative teaching people human decency. That's because we just lost another sister." 

This story was reported from Oakland, Calif.