MANHATTAN, New York (WABC) -- For many New Yorkers, Times Square is a place teeming with life. But for Justin Go, father of Michelle Go, it's a place that represents an immeasurable loss.
"It's like the city drew her here," said Go in an exclusive interview with Eyewitness News. "She was excited about life here and then it swallowed her up."
Speaking for the first time since his 40-year-old daughter was killed after being shoved in front of a moving R train at the Times Square station in 2022, Go admits that the family is still reeling a year later.
"She's gone," he said. "We're never gonna get her back."
The only thing Go can share now is his pain, his anger, and the anxiety that trails him to this day.
But as tough as the loss remains for the family, Go refuses to have his daughter be remembered as a victim. Instead, he would much rather she be remembered as an Asian American success story.
"She grew up with confidence," he shared.
He also added that his daughter worked hard to get to where she was before her life was interrupted by a vicious shove.
As a consultant with the management firm Deloitte, she still found time to do volunteer work, including as an advocate for the homeless.
"Because she worked with the less fortunate it bothered her perhaps that there were so many homeless people around that should be in a better place," Go said.
Police arrested Simon Martial, 61, a man with a history of criminal behavior, mental illness, and homelessness.
Last year, Martial was found mentally unfit to stand trial.
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Michelle's father said the system failed him and thus in turn failed his family.
"I think the system failed him and because of that, the system failed us," he said. "He should've been taken care of."
The last time he saw his daughter was the Christmas before she was killed.
To this day, he wishes he could have said more during that encounter.
"I get depressed. I get numb because I think about what could've happened, what should've happened if she had lived on," Go said. "We could've traveled some, we could've done different things. She loved to eat. And those things are gone."
When asked what he would say to her if she could hear him on last time, Go answered, "I could've been there to protect you. I wish it was me instead of you."
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