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A New York college freshman was brutally stabbed to death in a Manhattan park Wednesday night during a robbery that has rocked the community.
Barnard College President Sian Leah Beilock identified the 18-year-old victim as Tessa Majors, a freshman at the college, in a statement announcing the "tragic" death on the school’s website.
“Tessa was just beginning her journey at Barnard and in life,” she said. “We mourn this devastating murder of an extraordinary young woman and member of our community.”
Authorities believe Majors was stabbed multiple times at the base of the stairs in Morningside Park after she had apparently tried to put up a fight during an armed robbery, The New York Post reports.
A blood trail found at the scene suggests Majors had climbed the stairs to Morningside Drive after the vicious attack. She collapsed on the sidewalk just outside a school security guard booth.
The guard was not at the station at the time and had been making rounds. When the guard returned and discovered Majors, he called 911, local station WABC reports.
The New York Police Department arrived at the scene at around 5:30 p.m. and found Majors unconscious with multiple stab wounds, according to The New York Times. She was taken to a local hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
Police were questioning a group of teens about a possible connection to the murder, but no arrests have been made yet, WABC reports.
Beilock said Majors’ family had been notified and were coming to New York City following the tragedy.
“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,” she said.
Isabel Jauregui, a Barnard student who works at the college paper, told The Times that the slaying had students unnerved.
“My friend is throwing up in the bathroom,” she said. “She’s so scared.”
Tristen Pasternak, a sophomore at the college, told the paper she was not surprised someone had been attacked at the park.
“I used to go through there,” she said. “It always had a weird vibe.”
The college will have counselors available to help students process the death.
“In the days ahead, please know that all of our campus resources are available for you as we mourn this heartbreaking loss together,” Beilock said.
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