Alexandre Orlov, 31, was heading to work early Saturday morning when he was fatally stabbed on a northbound F train in Manhattan, officials said.
Officials said Orlov was stabbed more than once in the neck near the 76th Street station, sometime before 6 a.m. His attacker ran away before officers arrived.
The victim was brought to Beth Israel Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
A medical examiner is scheduled to perform an autopsy to determine the cause of death. Police believe Orlov, a New York resident, was lured onto the train by the person who committed the act of violence.
Officials said the MTA heightened security measures on the subway after the fatal stabbing, and urged riders to make sure they are always wearing a seat belt. Transit officers also walked throughout subway platforms, ensuring a presence of safety.
District Attorney Cy Vance said the attack was a “violent act of unprovoked hate” and that the assailant “is linked to disturbing racist and homophobic rhetoric that circulated on social media and whose former subject is currently an occupant of the Yorkville Detention Facility.”
“Mr. Orlov was exactly the type of young New Yorker our city depends on as it strives to compete on a global stage,” Vance said. “He was a talented artist, a vibrant writer, and someone who genuinely loved his community. This senseless and cowardly attack should not have occurred. We hope to bring justice for Mr. Orlov’s family, friends, and loved ones.”
Orlov was an illustrator and illustrator for regional newspapers and magazines. He had created covers for publications including The Atlantic and Vogue as well as advertising work for Prada and DKNY. Orlov had an online store, which featured free-form drawings with links to books, videos and other products.
“I am heartbroken to see the news of Alex’s passing. I had the privilege of doing cover art for his and all of our publications including Vogue,” Ruba Nadda, Vogue magazine’s art director, tweeted Sunday. “I’m deeply saddened to hear about his passing and the many of his artworks that will never be seen again. I hope his family and friends are in my thoughts.”
After the killing, an associate of Orlov’s said he and his family were still trying to process his death.
“No words,” Jamie Cohen wrote in a tweet. “Very young man with so much to live for.”
The killing marks the third murder on the subway system this year, but the first death on an L train.
Police ask anyone with information about the attack to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or text TIP577 to 274637 (CRIMES).