18-Year-Old Barnard College Student Dead After Fatal Stabbing Blocks Away From Campus
Barnard College freshman Tessa Majors died after being stabbed multiple times at Morningside Park
A Barnard College freshman has tragically died after being stabbed multiple times at a New York City park.
Tessa Majors, an 18-year-old student, was found stabbed at Morningside Park near W. 116th St. and Morningside Drive at around 5:35 p.m. on Wednesday, New York City Police Department confirmed to PEOPLE.
According to authorities, the student was taken to Mount Sinai St. Luke’s Hospital, where she was pronounced dead. The victim had multiple stab wounds throughout her body, police said.
Officials told ABC7 that a group of suspects had approached the woman and demanded she hand over her belongings. They then stabbed her in the torso and fled the scene on foot, according to the outlet.
Authorities said the injured woman climbed the stairs near to park’s exit and collapsed on the sidewalk in front of a security guard booth. Though ABC7 initially reported that the booth was empty, a spokesperson for Columbia University confirmed to PEOPLE that a security officer “was at his post” and came to the victim’s aid immediately upon recognizing she was injured.
ABC7 reports a second 911 call was made, in which the caller described the suspect as wearing a green jacket.
An uncharged phone was found on the ground, as well as a closed knife and woman’s hat at the base of the stairs in the park, according to the outlet.
According to New York Daily News, the police — following an earlier report of a robbery suspect who was also wearing a green jacket — tracked a trail of blood to the nearby Grant Houses apartments, where they arrested a 16-year-old who authorities believe fit the description of the attacker that was given by a witness.
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A spokesperson for the NYPD told PEOPLE they cannot confirm if the suspect that was taken into custody is linked to the stabbing.
No arrests in connection to the attack have been made and an investigation is ongoing, according to police.
Barnard College president Sian Leah Beilock released a public letter to the student body Wednesday morning, reading, “With broken hearts, we share tragic news about the death of one of our students. Earlier this evening, Tessa Majors, a first year student at Barnard, was fatally injured during an armed robbery that occurred off campus in Morningside Park.”
“Tessa was just beginning her journey at Barnard and in life. We mourn this devastating murder of an extraordinary young woman and member of our community,” she wrote. “This is an unthinkable tragedy that has shaken us to our core. Please know that we are all grieving together and I am thinking of you as we process this awful news as a community.”
In a statement provided to PEOPLE, Majors’ family said they “lost a very special, very talented, and very well-loved young woman. Tess shone bright in this world, and our hearts will never be the same.”