Suspect in attacks against Asian women found dead, hanging in elevator shaft, police say

The death was an apparent suicide, police said.

The man wanted for a string of attacks against Asian women was found dead of an apparent suicide in a basement elevator shaft on Monday night, police said.

Tyrelle Shaw, 25, apparently hung himself in the basement of a Madison Avenue building, near East 66th Street. Shaw was found on Monday evening at around 7 p.m. after his body started to smell, police said.

Shaw, who last lived nearby on Madison Avenue, near East 62nd Street, was wanted as a suspect in a series of attacks against Asian woman throughout the city in which he apparently hit her with a heavy object inside a white plastic bag.

Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said Shaw left a suicide note admitting to the crimes. At his feet investigators also found a hammer, which Boyce said they believe was the weapon in the plastic bags, and a cell phone.

“He is one of the most strangest stories I have had in quite some time,” Boyce said during an unrelated news conference on Tuesday.

Boyce added that Shaw, who was homeless, appeared to have rejection issues, mostly with Asian woman. On June 18th, Shaw wrote a blog post saying he was “rejected too many times,” Boyce said.

Shaw had several prior arrests and was on probation for a December 2014 burglary, a law enforcement official with knowledge of the case said. But his prior interactions with police did not indicate that he was a violent person, Boyce said.

In the first attack on an Asian woman, a 35-year-old was attacked on Grand Street, near Lafayette Street, at about 4:15 p.m. on June 10th. Shaw allegedly struck up a conversation with her but when she ignored him, he returned with the bag and struck her in the cheek and chin area, police said.

Just over four hours later, Shaw is accused of hitting a 29-year-old woman with the plastic bag also containing a hard object by the corner of Park Avenue and East 30th Street.

Shaw allegedly attacked two more women on June 12th and June 15th, police said.

Boyce said Shaw was hard to look for because he had turned off his cell phone.

(With Anthony M. Destefano)

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