Harlem man charged with murder of Columbia University grad student during stabbing spree

Shadow of the hand holding a knife
Photo via Getty Images

Detectives have charged a Harlem man who went on a stabbing spree on Thursday night, killing a Columbia University graduate student and injuring a second victim.

Vincent Pinkney, 25, of West 125th Street was apprehended in Central Park, near the corner of West 104th Street and Central Park West, on Dec. 2 as he allegedly menaced a 29-year-old man with a knife. Police stopped Pinkney and took him into custody without further incident.

Upon further investigation, police learned that Pinkney allegedly stabbed Davide Giri, 30, of West 121st Street moments earlier, at about 10:54 p.m. on Dec. 2, near the corner of West 123rd Street and Amsterdam Avenue.

Officers from the 26th Precinct, in responding to a 911 call about an assault, found Giri at the location with a stab wound to his abdomen. EMS rushed him to Mount Sinai-St. Luke’s Hospital, where he died a short time later.

Giri was a graduate student at the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science. On Friday evening, hundreds of students and faculty participated in a memorial vigil where they mourned the young man.

“Davide Giri was our student, our colleague, our teacher, our friend, and our fellow Columbian,” said Columbia University President Lee C. Bollinger. “Even if one did not know Davide, it is easy to imagine him in our minds, since he was of our world: A brilliant doctoral student in an exciting field on his way to an incredible career with extraordinary contributions to the world and a fulfilling life. We so deeply feel the pain and the injustice of that life promise breached in an act of barbarous violence.”

While investigating Giri’s murder, detectives also connected Pinkney to a second stabbing at the corner of West 110th Street and Cathedral Parkway. Officers found the victim, a 27-year-old man, with a knife wound to his torso.

EMS rushed the victim to Mount Sinai-St. Luke’s Hospital, where he was listed in stable condition.

Police said Pinkney matched the description of the attacker in both incidents. He was booked on charges of murder, attempted murder, assault, attempted assault and criminal possession of a weapon.

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