The “smart, funny and big-hearted” woman pushed in front of a train in New York had for years volunteered and worked for the homeless. Which makes it all the more tragic that she appears to have died at the hands of a homeless man.
The New York Daily News described Michelle Alyssa Go, 40, as a charity activist and advocate for the homeless.
She was pushed in front of an oncoming subway train at the Times Square station on Saturday (Jan 15) morning.
A 61-year-old man, Simon Martial, described as a “subway vagrant” was arrested and had reportedly confessed to pushing her.
Martial, who was said to have a criminal background, fled the scene but later turned himself in. He has been charged with murder.
“He started running with both of his hands in front of him, like, tackling,” the New York Times quoted a witness as saying.”But it was so fast, nobody realized what was going on before it was too late.”
According to the Daily News, when Martial was asked by reporters if he had pushed her, and why, he yelled: “Yeah, because I’m God, yes I did! Because I’m God I can do it!”
Ms Go was born in California, where she took a bachelor’s degree, before taking an MBA from the NYU Stern School of Business. She had worked for Deloitte Consulting, according to her LindIn profile.
The Daily News report said she had volunteered with the New York Junior League, a women-led charity focused on educating and improving communities, for more than 10 years.
“She served many women and children within our New York community, helping them enrich their lives through education on nutrition,” it quoted League president Dayna Barlow Cassidy as saying.
“Michelle will be missed by many friends. We call upon the city’s leadership to urgently address the lack of mental health and other supports for underserved communities.”
A statement released by her family said: “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 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.”
It said her friends would say she was “smart, funny, big hearted, and a real role model”.
The statement added that she had just returned from celebrating her birthday in the Maldives with friends.