A Spanish woman who ran a homeless shelter in New York City was shot to death on Monday by a former resident who had first attempted to rape her.
Ana Isabel Charle, 36, was a native of Valladolid but lived in New York, where she was the manager of Project Renewal, a shelter in the borough of the Bronx.
The suspect is an ex-convict who had been recently released from prison and had stayed at the shelter until January.
Spruill West, 39, was arrested soon after the attack and charged with second-degree murder and possession of a weapon. Sexual assault charges have not been filed as the autopsy has yet to determine whether the victim was raped.
She was a very dedicated person who worked tirelessly to improve the lives of others”
Anat Gerstein, shelter spokesperson
Police sources said the attack took place near Charle’s car, a Honda, which was parked near the shelter. Local media reported that West ambushed her as she left work and pointed a gun at her, then forced her to remove her clothes inside the vehicle.
The police found her lying naked on the sidewalk after she managed to run away. The New York Post reported that the attacker shot her twice in the head and once in the torso after he caught up with her.
Charle, a mother of two, was pronounced dead after being rushed to Montefiore Hospital.
The Daily News reported that female employees at the shelter are routinely harassed by residents.
The suspect is an ex-convict who had been recently released from prison and stayed at the shelter for several months
West lived at Project Renewal between June 2014 and January 2015.
The New York Police Department has no records of a previous arrest, but West served 11 years between 1994 and 2005 for attempted murder and assault, and another seven-year term from 2006 to 2014 for assault.
“She was a very dedicated person who worked tirelessly to improve the lives of others,” said Anat Gerstein, a shelter spokesperson, about Charle. “We are heartbroken over this loss.”
Charle had been living in the United States ever since she completed her studies, and lived in Richmond Hill, in the borough of Queens. Her neighbors said she was a kind person who always had a smile on her face.