Bronx Shelter Director Abducted, Shot to Death By Ex-Resident: NYPD

The director of a New York shelter was abducted at gunpoint by a former resident who attempted to sexually assault her before shooting her to death on the street, police said.

Officials say 36-year-old Ana Charle was walking to her car near a 108-bed Project Renewal shelter in the Bronx Monday night where she encountered an armed West Spruill, a 39-year-old man who lived in the shelter from January to June of last year.

Charle managed to escape from the car before a naked Spruill chased her and shot her three times in the head and chest, according to police. Authorities found Charle, unclothed, lying on the sidewalk on Bullard Avenue near East 237th Street in Wakefield; she was pronounced at a hospital.

A black handgun was recovered from Spruill's black shoulder bag, according to a criminal complaint.

Spruill, barefoot and wearing a tattered jumpsuit, had several outbursts at his arraignment on murder and other charges Wednesday, including one in which he yelled, "I want to represent myself!" He was remanded to jail and is due in court later this week; it wasn't clear if he entered a plea.

His attorney acknowledged Spruill has the right to represent himself if the court deems it appropriate, but said "everyone witnessed the difficulties with my client. The lawyer requested a full medical evaluation for Spruill, which the judge granted, as well as isolation in prison over fear he would be harmed. 

Authorities say Spruill has six prior arrests, and served time in Michigan for assault with a deadly weapon.

Project Renewal, which runs the Bronx shelter where Charle worked, said the 36-year-old toiled tirelessly to improve the lives of others.

"Our hearts and thoughts go out to Ana's entire family, the nonprofit said. "Ana was a dedicated, wonderful, and loving person." 

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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