‘Every Body Killer’ gang member, 25, kills Columbia University PhD student, 30, near Manhattan campus, stabs tourist, 27, 15 minutes later and is then arrested in Central Park trying to rob third man: NYC homicides soar 42% in two years
A Columbia University doctoral student was fatally knifed Thursday night near the Ivy League college’s historic Manhattan campus – one of three people attacked by a known gang member on a violent stabbing spree.
Davide Giri, 30, a PhD candidate in computer science, died around 11pm after being stabbed in the stomach by a 25-year-old member of the Bloods gang off-shoot, Every Body Killer, who has 11 prior arrests dating back to 2012.
Police arrested the suspect – Vincent Pinkney, of Manhattan- in Central Park, where he had been ‘menacing’ a man, 29, with a large kitchen knife 20 minutes after he had stabbed an Italian tourist, 27, outside the park on 110th street.
The injured tourist was taken to a nearby hospital and reported to be in stable condition.
The fatal stabbing of Giri took place just a block away from where Bernard College student Tessa Majors, 18, was viciously stabbed to death in December 2019 as violent crimes continue to rise in New York City.
Davide Giri, 30, a PhD candidate in computer science at Columbia University, died after being stabbed in the stomach
Vincent Pinkney reportedly moved south on his stabbing spree, moving from Morningside Heights to Central Park
The NYPD said the gang member that left Giri dead and an Italian tourist injured on Thursday night had a lengthy rap sheet
The suspect, a 25-year-old member of the Bloods off-shoot gang Every Body Killer, was taken into custody after police found him threatening a third man with a large kitchen knife
Investigators said Giri was attacked at 11pm on Thursday just outside the university’s historic NYC campus
Police continue to investigate the fatal stabbing, which occurred a block from where Tessa Majors was killed in 2019
Columbia University President Lee Bollinger wrote in an email to students, ‘I write with great sorrow to share the tragic news that Davide Giri, a graduate student at the School of Engineering and Applied Science, was killed in a violent attack near campus on Thursday night.’
‘This news is both unspeakably sad and deeply shocking, as it took place only steps from our campus. On behalf of the entire Columbia community, I send my deepest condolences to Davide’s family.’
Police said Pinkney has a lengthy rap sheet that includes robberies and assaults and other alleged crimes.
Davide Giri was taken to St. Luke’s Hospital, where he was pronounced dead
He was previously convicted of gang assault in 2015 and served two years in jail, according to state Department of Corrections records.
Police said Giri was the first victim of the stabbing spree and was attacked just before 11 p.m. on Thursday at 123rd Street and Amsterdam Avenue, in Morningside Heights.
Giri, a Brooklyn resident, was taken to St. Luke’s Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
The PHD student had traveled the world, studying in Torino, Italy; Shanghai, China; and Chicago before settling in the Big Apple for his doctoral degree at Columbia.
Bollinger said the university is working with the NYPD to learn more details about the attack.
‘These are moments when being in a community really matters. I, therefore, encourage you to seek out and be with others, who will need you as much as you need them,’ Bollinger wrote to students.
Although murders in the Big Apple have fallen by 0.7 percent compared to last year, from 436 to 433, overall homicides have soared by 42 per cent since 2019.
Felony assault have also shot up in 2021 by more than 9 per cent, from 19,046 to 19,861 so far this year. Robberies also saw an increase of 3.7 per cent, with 12,318 reported.
Rapes rose from 1,329 to 1,357, an increase of more than 2 per cent, and the number of shooting victims also went up from 1,724 to 1,725.
Overall crime in New York City has gone up by 3.14 per cent so far this year.
The attacked took place near the Columbia University campus at 123rd Street and Amsterdam Avenue, in Morningside Heights
Columbia University tweeted out a message about Giri’s death as they continue to work with police investigators
Rising crime: NYC has seen an explosion in the incidences of violent assaults, murders, robberies and muggings in the past two years. Overall crime this year has gone up by more than 3 per cent
Giri’s death was reminiscent of the violent stabbing of Tessa Majors, who was killed by a gang of teenagers in Morningside Park on December 11, 2019.
Prosecutors said that Rashaun Weaver, 16, Luchiano Lewis, 16, and Zyairr Davis, 14, were looking to mug someone when they went to Morningside park, where they spotted Majors
Lewis was charged as an adult despite being 14 at the time of the murder and was sentenced to nine-years in prison this October after Justice Robert Mandelbaum noted that the teen lacked remorse.
Lewis was also sentenced to 40 months to 12 years on the robbery count. It is unclear if the sentences will be served concurrently or consecutively.
Weaver, the alleged knifeman who Lewis said stabbed Majors, has pleaded not guilty and was also charged as an adult.
Davis was sentenced to 18 months in juvenile hall for his part in the homicide.
Tessa Majors, 18, a Bernard College student, was stabbed to death as teens mugged her at Morningside Park in 2019
The park lies in Morningside Heights between the Bernard College campus and Columbia University Campus