Go, 40, worked in mergers and acquisitions for multimillion-dollar financial firm Deloitte Services LP and spent time helping women and children in vulnerable communities as well as the homeless.
Simon Martial, 61, has been charged with second-degree murder in connection with her death, which shocked residents of a city that has seen crime rise during the pandemic and renewed calls for politicians to tackle a budding homeless crisis.
“We are in a state of shock and mourning the loss of our daughter, sister and friend,” Go’s family said in a statement Tuesday night as hundreds of people flocked to Times Square for a candlelight vigil.
“We hope Michelle will be remembered for how she lived and not just for how she died,” the family added. “She was a beautiful, radiant, kind and intelligent woman who loved her family and friends, loved to travel the world and help others. Her life was taken too soon in a senseless act of violence and we pray that she will receive justice, she deserves. “
The incident, which took place around noon. 9:40 a.m., was “unprovoked, and the victim does not appear to have any interaction with the subject,” NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell said Saturday.
Go had recently traveled to the Maldives with friends to celebrate her birthday and New Year, according to her family.
“Michelle had a love of life, loved her family and loved meeting and working with people,” the family statement said.
“She found and kept up with countless friends from elementary school to college to after school and at her workplaces. Her friends told us Michelle was smart, funny, big-hearted and a true role model. Michelle loved to travel the world to meet. New people and different cultures. “
Aside from his work with the financial services firm, Go volunteered for more than 10 years with the New York Junior League to help vulnerable communities.
“NYJL is very sad to hear of Michelle Go’s death in such meaningless and tragic circumstances,” said Dayna Barlow Cassidy, president of the nonprofit organization, in a statement.
“With a focus on strengthening family units, she served many women and children in our New York community and helped them enrich their lives through nutrition education,” the statement said.
“Michelle will be missed by many friends. We urge the city’s management to address the lack of mental health and other support for underserved communities as soon as possible.”
Cassidy said her volunteer work included helping the homeless.
“She clearly had a very strong passion for working one-on-one with these populations in need,” Cassidy said, according to CNN affiliate WABC.
“She was a very compassionate soul who wanted to be rewarded by the direct influence and direct work of these individuals and see them evolve over time.”
Martial has a criminal background and three “emotionally disturbed encounters,” said NYPD Assistant Chief Jason Wilcox. Minutes before the suspect allegedly pushed Go onto the tracks, he had approached another woman, who later told police she felt she would be pushed and walked away, Wilcox said.
Go was born on December 29, 1981 in Berkeley, California, according to her family’s statement. She grew up with her parents, Justin and Marjorie Go, and brother Jefferey in Fremont, California.
In 1998, Go graduated from American High School in Fremont, where she was a member of the Honor Society and a cheerleader.
After graduating from UCLA with a degree in economics in 2002, Go worked for Ferguson Plumbing Supply in Pasadena as a customer service and sales representative, according to the statement.
In 2010, Go received an MB A from New York University’s Stern School of Business. She worked at Barclays Capital before joining Deloitte, according to the statement.
At the guard Tuesday night, colleague Kimberly Garnett remembered Go as kind and generous.
Garnett said Go always encouraged people to go and do things that matter, to contribute to a cause and to “see what you’re doing and have fun.”