13-Year-Old Boy Arrested in Connection to Stabbing Death of College Freshman

December 13, 2019 Updated: December 13, 2019
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A 13-year-old has been arrested in New York in connection to the fatal stabbing of an 18-year-old Barnard College freshman Tessa Rane Majors, a law enforcement source told CNN.

The teen, whose name has not been released, has been charged with murder, robbery, and criminal possession of a weapon, reported WLNY. Because of his age, he will be tried in family court.

Majors was stabbed near the Manhattan all-women’s school in an armed robbery on Wednesday evening, said Barnard College President Sian Leah Beilock. She had been walking through Morningside Park at 116th Street and Morningside Drive when police believe she was confronted by a group of people before being stabbed multiple times, said NYPD Chief of Patrol Services Rodney Harrison said.

Majors staggered her way up to the “surface side” of Morningside Drive after being stabbed, according to Beilock, where she was found by a school security officer who called 911. The 18-year-old was taken to a local hospital where she was pronounced dead.

The 13-year-old suspect admitted to the robbery attempt and stabbing, the law enforcement source told CNN. He also implicated two other suspects, one of whom is being questioned by police. Authorities are still looking for the third suspect, reported the New York Daily News.

Police searching the area after the stabbing found the 13-year-old, who matched a description of the suspect, in a building lobby and arrested him on criminal trespass. Authorities discovered he was carrying a knife during a search.

Epoch Times Photo
A Barnard College student was fatally stabbed just blocks from campus at Morningside Park in Manhattan, New York City, on Dec. 11, 2019. (Screenshot/Google Maps)

Majors’s family, who traveled to New York from their home in Virginia, said they are devastated by the loss of their daughter.

“We lost a very special, very talented, and very well-loved young woman,” the family said in a statement, reported the NY Daily News. “Tess shone bright in this world, and our hearts will never be the same.”

“We are devastated by the senseless loss of our beautiful and talented Tess. We are thankful for the incredible outpouring of love and support we have received from across the country. We would also like to express our appreciation for the efforts of the men and women of the NYPD, who continue to work diligently on this case,” the Majors family added, reported WLNY.
Barnard College
People enter the main gate to Barnard College, in New York City’s Upper West Side, on Dec. 12, 2019. (Richard Drew/AP Photo)

At a news conference of Thursday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called the stabbing “unbelievable.”

“It’s terrifying to think that that could happen anywhere,” de Blasio said. “It’s unbelievable to me that that could happen here, next to one of our great college campuses.”

He added on Twitter on Thursday that NYPD

Colombia University, which is located near Barnard College and Morningside Park, released a statement on Thursday calling Majors’s murder an “unthinkable tragedy.”

“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. 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,” the statement read.

The university added that it is cooperating with the NYPD in its investigation and has offered counseling to students.

make-shift memorial for Tessa Majors
A woman walks past a make-shift memorial for Tessa Majors inside the Barnard campus in New York City on Dec. 12, 2019. (Mary Altaffer/AP)

This isn’t the first time a teenager attacked a woman at Morningside Park.

In April, in three separate attacks, a group of teens between 12 and 15 attacked three women near the park, reported WLNY, which has been the site of nearly two dozen violent attacks since October 2018.

CNN Wire contributed to this report.