The massive vigil was held for 40-year-old Michelle Go, whose horrific death stands as a brutal indictment on the city she loved and served.
Go’s larger-than-life portrait smiled over the vigil, alongside other Asian victims.
“Michelle, we will miss you deeply. Know you will always be in our hearts and memories,” work friend Louise Chang said at the vigil.
The attack happened just after 9:30 a.m. Saturday inside the Times Square-42nd Street subway station.
Go was struck and killed in the apparently random attack. Officials do not believe the attack was a hate crime, but even so, assaults on Asians have skyrocketed.
Police say the man accused of shoving her, who police identified as 61-year-old Simon Martial, has a history of mental illness and is undergoing a psychiatric evaluation.
Officials tonight were high of rhetoric, but low on solutions.
“I’m re-committed to make sure this will not happen in our city. We have to do this together,” New York City Mayor Eric Adams said.
The mayor has come under fire for his initial response to the killing. Accused of being tone deaf to the cries of the city.
“We will hold them accountable. The safety of New Yorkers is a human right,” Asian Fighting Injustice founder Ben Wei said.
However, just days after Go was killed, Adams made a stunning admission about the city’s transit system.
“We’re going to make sure New Yorkers feel safe in our subway system. And they don’t feel that way now,” Adams said. “I don’t feel that way when I take the train every day, or when I’m moving throughout our transportation system.”
The mayor’s confession — that even he does not feel safe using his own city’s public transit, comes just three days after Michelle Go was killed in Times Square.
Go was an Upper West Side resident who worked as a consultant for Deloitte.
The mayor’s about-face on subway safety was welcome news to the man who runs the transit system.
“I think Mayor Adams is showing that he gets it, he gets how New Yorkers are feeling,” Acting MTA Chairman Janno Lieber said. “He gets that even though, statistically, the chances of being the victim of a crime on the subway are very, very low — and, God forbid, being a crime victim of a crime like the one that took place in Times Square. But New Yorkers also perceive a lack of safety because they are seeing and hearing about these extraordinary, alarming subway pushing episodes.”
The incident happened less than two weeks after New York City Mayor Eric Adams and the New York Governor Kathy Hochul declared that homeless outreach and police presence would be stepped-up dramatically.
As for the victim, Go was a consultant with the management firm Deloitte, whose volunteer work with the New York Junior League included helping the homeless.
“She clearly had a very strong passion for working one-on-one with these populations in need,” said New York Junior League President Dayna Cassidy. “She was a very compassionate soul who wanted to be rewarded by that direct impact and directly working with those individuals and watching them evolve over time.”
“She was a kind and generous person. She volunteered incessantly and worked hard to help others as she sought to make our city an even better place,” Congresswoman Grace Meng said.
Go’s family released a statement calling her “a beautiful, brilliant, kind, and intelligent woman.”