An 18-year-old Barnard freshman has been fatally stabbed in a park in Manhattan, sending shock waves through the college and wider Columbia University community.
“With broken hearts, we share tragic news about the death of one of our students,” Barnard President Sian Leah Beilock said late Wednesday in a letter to the campus. “This is an unthinkable tragedy that has shaken us to our core.”
The letter identified the student as Tessa Majors and said she was fatally wounded during an armed robbery near Barnard’s campus. Barnard College is part of Columbia University.
Police said they responded to an assault report at around 5:30 p.m. in the area of West 116th Street and Morningside Drive, near Morningside Park. Upon arrival, they found and found an unconscious woman, who had been stabbed multiple times. She died at Mount Sinai/St. Luke’s Hospital.
Police have not yet officially confirmed her identity as Tessa Rogers.
There have been no arrests.
The teen’s parents, who live in Charlottesville, Virginia, headed to New York after learning the tragic news, her grandparents told New York’s Daily News.
Her grandfather, Andrew Burton, called her “a lovely, lovely girl — very, very smart and sweet.”
Isabel Jauregui, a Barnard student who works on the Columbia Spectator campus newspaper, told The New York Times that students were on edge.
“My friend is throwing up in the bathroom,” she said. “She’s so scared.”
Counselors were being made available.
“In these difficult circumstances, it is important for us to take care of each other,” Beilock wrote. “Please hold Tessa and her family in your hearts and keep each other close.”