A Brooklyn man accused of fatally stabbing a 66-year-old professor and then hiding from police in the victim’s basement was arraigned on murder and burglary charges Wednesday.
Mirzo Atadzhanov, 28, was taken into custody at the home on Stratford Road, near Hinckley Place in Prospect Park South, shortly after Jeremy Safran’s body was discovered around 6 p.m. Monday, according to police.
Atadzhanov told police he was in the basement of Safran’s home when he stabbed him with a knife repeatedly in the stomach and chest, according to a criminal complaint. Safran, a psychology professor at The New School, was found with trauma to his head and body and pronounced dead at the scene, investigators said.
The city Office of Chief Medical Examiner determined Safran died of stab wounds to his torso and deemed his death a homicide.
Atadzhanov, of Brooklyn, was held without bail following his appearance in Kings County Criminal Court Wednesday morning, the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office said. He is due back in court on May 14.
NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea, while speaking at an unrelated news conference on Tuesday, said the motive in the killing remained unclear but added that Atadzhanov may have been a student in Safran’s class.
New School staff and students were “shocked and saddened” by Safran’s death, the school said in a statement.
“An internationally renowned psychotherapist, Jeremy was deeply respected and admired by The New School community and his colleagues throughout the psychology profession for his work on psychoanalytic theory and practice, as well as research on psychotherapy processes and outcomes,” the statement said. “We offer our deepest condolences to his family and will be offering support to his many friends and colleagues throughout the university community in the days ahead.”
With Matthew Chayes