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Bronx mom about to move out of shelter before throat fatally slashed in house party brawl

Before her throat was fatally slit by a woman during a wild brawl between partygoers outside an illegal afterhours Bronx party, Ashley Smith was looking forward to becoming a grandmother in a new home.

The day before she was slain, 37-year-old Smith called her mother to say she was finally about to leave her Bronx shelter behind for an apartment.

“It was going to be on Monday that she would be able to finish up paperwork — which she never got to do,” the victim’s grieving mother Monique Smith said. “Why did you have to kill my baby?”

Ashley was killed at a heavily promoted “Weekend Sauce” party at an illegal residential social club in Williamsbridge where it costs $20 to get in the door, officials said.

Smith went to the bash with three friends, one of whom was “knocked to the ground” as a giant brawl involving several dozen people erupted early June 1.

“A fight ensues. Security removes everybody from the location,” NYPD Chief of Detectives Joseph Kenny said. “They end up outside in front of the location.”

In the melee, a woman stabbed Smith in the neck, slicing her jugular vein about 6:10 a.m. outside the two-family home on Oakley St. near E. 219th St., Kenny said.

“It was just a bad scene. Everybody was drunk, high, or whatever. It was just horrible” said Monique, 59, recounting what cops and attendees told her. “I just can’t understand why everybody else is alive and my daughter’s dead. I can’t, I can’t, I can’t understand it. Why is she the only one that’s gone if there were that many people fighting?”

Medics rushed Smith to Jacobi Medical Center, where she died of her wounds a short time later. No arrests have been made.

The home has garages in the back used as an illegal social club, police said. So far this year, there have been six 911 calls and two 311 calls for loud music. In 2021, there was a vice operation at the same location.

Woman fatally slashed outside Bronx building

Theodore Parisienne for New York Daily News

Officers responding to a call of an assault in progress around 6:10 a.m. found the victim, Ashley Smith, outside a two-family home on Oakley St. near E. 219th St. in Williamsbridge.

Ashley, who grew up in Yonkers, was working as a construction flagger at sites across New York City. She had two sons, ages 21 and 14, and a 9-year-old daughter.

“There was not one day that she wasn’t with her children. She made all her decisions for her kids. She was doing things to make her life better for her and her children,” said Monique. “My grandkids loved her. They loved the funny things that she would say. She was always joking and had them laughing.”

Ashley was excited to begin a new chapter in her life, especially meeting her first grandchild. Her older son’s girlfriend is expecting a baby boy any day.

“[Her son] had sent her a teddy bear with the baby’s heartbeat which she slept with. She kept it on her bed and constantly listened to it. She was so excited,” said her mother. “They had sent her the sonogram picture … They have 3D so you can basically see what the baby looks like. The baby had features of ours because we all look alike.”

Ashley’s son’s traumatized girlfriend had contractions after hearing the news of Ashley’s death but it was only a false alarm.

Monique, who lives in South Carolina, said she had been planning to visit soon and then take Ashley’s daughter down south for the summer.

“We were excited,” she said. “We were making plans for when I came up to go shopping and stuff like that.”

Now she is planning her oldest child’s funeral and comforting her suddenly orphaned grandchildren. She wasn’t immediately ready to tell Ashley’s daughter the grim news but the girl found out in a text message from a friend who had overheard their parents talking about the stabbing.

“I’m sorry that your mom died,” the message on the girl’s phone said.

“Is this true?’” Ashley’s daughter asked Monique.

“It was just heartbreaking,” Monique said. “Everybody — my daughters, my sister, my nieces — we just all broke down crying, holding each other, surrounding her.”

Now they are trying to help the girl heal.

“We bought her a journal,” Monique Smith said. “So now she’s writing things to her mother, telling her how much she loves her, how funny she was.”

Ashley Smith (Facebook)


Ashley Smith (Facebook)

Smith will be buried in New York in a plot next to her father, Monique said. The family has created a GoFundMe to help with  burial expenses.

“When I buried my husband I purchased a double plot because they’re so expensive,” Monique said. “I wanted to at least have one for myself — not for any of my children, you know?”

Monique said Ashley’s daughter will move to South Carolina to live with her grandmother as the family navigates the devastating loss.

“I don’t know how to act and I don’t know how to feel. I just know that I need to handle. I actually just want to curl up and not get up,” the heartbroken mother said between sobs. “When I go to sleep, I wake up not knowing where I’m at and then I realize, then everything comes back to me.”

“I just want the truth to come out and the person to be caught, and all the persons that were involved in this situation,” she added.

“I just want them to catch them and put them away forever. Because I lost my child forever.”

With Leonard Greene


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