BERKELEY, Calif. (KRON) — Family members are in shock and grieving after a Berkeley native was pushed to her death in front of a New York City subway train over the weekend.
Michelle Alyssa Go, 40, was waiting for a subway train at the Times Square station Saturday morning when a man shoved her from behind, police said.
“This incident was unprovoked, and the victim does not appear to have had any interaction with the subject,” NYC Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell said.
Go’s family released a statement to KRON4 Monday, writing: “We hope Michelle will be remembered for how she lived and not just how she died. She was a beautiful, brilliant, kind, and intelligent woman who loved her family and friends, loved to travel the world and to help others. Her life was taken too soon in a senseless act of violence, and we pray that she gets the justice she deserves.”
There will be a candlelight vigil for her at 6 p.m. in Portsmouth Square in San Francisco, at Clay and Kearny streets, Bay City News reports.
Go had recently returned to New York City from a trip to the Maldives, where she celebrated her 40th birthday and New Year’s Eve.
She worked in NYC for a consulting group, Deloitte, assisting clients with mergers and acquisitions.
Go was born on December 29, 1981, to Justin and Marjorie Go, in Berkeley. She grew up with her parents and brother in Fremont.
Go was a cheerleader and honor roll student at American High School. She graduated from UCLA in 2002 and NYU Stern School of Business in 2010.
“Michelle had a love of life, loved her family, and loved to meet and work with people. She made and kept up with countless friends from grade school to college to graduate school and at her workplaces. Her friends would tell us that Michelle was smart, funny, big hearted and a real role model. Michelle loved to travel the world to meet new people and different cultures,” her family wrote.
Police arrested a homeless man who fled from the subway station but later turned himself in to transit police. He was identified as 61-year-old Simon Martial.
A second victim in the subway station told police that the same man had approached her minutes before Go was killed. The second victim said she was scared that Martial was going to push her.
“He approaches her. She gets very, very alarmed,” Assistant Chief Jason Wilcox said.
“As she’s walking away she witnesses the crime where he pushes our other victim in front of the train,” Wilcox said.
Go never saw Martial before he attacked, one witness told the New York Times.
“She had her back to this crazy person. She never saw anything. He started running with both of his hands in front of him, like, tackling,” witness Maria Coste-Weber told the Times. “But it was so fast, nobody realized what was going on before it was too late.”
— The Associated Press contributed to this report —