In an incident that shocked even crime-hardened New Yorkers, a young upcoming actress was brutally murdered by her ex-fiance, who then took his own life in the entrance of her Lower East Side apartment building.
Lyric Benson, who had moved to New York after graduating with a B.A. in theater studies from Yale last May, was shot in the face early Thursday April 24 and died of her wounds the next day. Her assailant, Robert Ambrosino, then turned the gun on himself. News reports said her mother, who was visiting from North Carolina, witnessed the shootings.
Police and news reports said Ambrosino had been harassing Benson after she broke off their three-year relationship seven weeks ago and moved out of an apartment they had shared.
Benson, a winsome blonde Carolina who coincidentally had the same name and was about the same age as actor Robbie Benson’s actress daughter but whose parents are both teachers, had just completed an episode of NBC’s “Law & Order: Criminal Intent”, netted voiceovers for two advertisers and, unnerving to some Gotham residents, was appearing in American Express TV, print and billboard ads around the city as part of an American Express campaign promoting the upcoming TriBeCa Film Festival.
In between gigs, she worked as a waitress at upscale bistro Balthazar.
She had starred in campus performances of “The Caucasian Chalk Circle” and appeared in other Yale productions.
Other survivor information was not immediately available.
Balthazar was reportedly setting up a fund in her memory to help her family deal with her loss.