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13-Year-Old Boy Arrested In Death Of Tess Majors As Campus Mourns

A 13-year-old male was arrested on Thursday in connection with the passing of Tess Majors, a freshman at Barnard College, according to reports in multiple news outlets.

According to CNN, the individual was found in the lobby of a nearby building with a knife, wearing clothes that matched the original description of a “male with a green jacket” sent out to students in a Wednesday alert from Columbia Public Safety. The arrested individual mentioned two other possible suspects and the investigation into their involvement is still ongoing. Bwog has contacted NYPD, but a spokesman reported that the investigation is ongoing and no further information can be released at this time.

This news comes as campus is deeply shaken by the tragedy. On Wednesday night, the news of Tess Majors’ death was sent out to students at Barnard and Columbia through a Clery Crime alert. Since then, the campus has been in a state of mourning, and two vigils have been held to commemorate Tess’s memory, one on Barnard’s campus and another hosted by anti-violence activists outside Morningside Park.

Multiple organizations have chosen to cancel traditional end-of-semester events like the Columbia Marching Band’s Orgo Night and Barnard’s Midnight Breakfast to honor Tess’s memory. Columbia Psychological Services, as well as Barnard’s Furman Center, have extended hours, and students were emailed by President Bollinger that counselors and specialists are available to discuss the incident at the Columbia Morningside, Barnard, and Columbia University Medical Center campuses. Public Safety emailed on Thursday encouraging students to utilize 24/7 walking safety escorts and affirmed that there is currently an enhanced public safety presence on Morningside Drive. Numbers and hours for these services will be listed at the end of this post.

In an email from Barnard deans, they told students that Provost Linda Bell has sent a letter to faculty members at Barnard and Columbia requesting that they provide accommodations, including make-up exams and extensions, for students affected by the news of Tess’s passing. They encouraged students to speak to individual faculty members first if accommodations were needed or if students planned to complete work as normal. Class Deans will be available to help anyone who needs assistance drafting emails or managing their workload. If students do not take their exams in the current finals period and ask for deferrals, their grades will be held through an “X” on their transcripts. This “X” will be replaced when make-up exams are taken in January. All fees for deferred exams will be waived. According to The Columbia Spectator, Provost Bell told faculty that students should still fill out the proper paperwork, but all students who request a deferment or incomplete should receive one and faculty can help facilitate the process for students if needed.

Campus Resources:

Furman Counseling Center: (212)-854-7777 (open on Friday until 7 pm and over the weekend from 11 am-2 pm)

Dean of Studies Office: 105 Milbank Hall, (212) 854-2024

Columbia Public Safety: (212) 854-5555 (calls answered 24/7)

Barnard Public Safety: (212) 854-6666 (calls answered 24/7)

After-hours psychological emergency line: (855) 622-1903

Berick Center for Student Advising: (212) 854-6378

Nightline Peer-Listening: (212) 854-7777, 10 pm-3 am through the end of the semester

Counseling and Psychological Services: (212) 854-2878, Walk-in hours this weekend from 11:00 am to 2 pm on the fifth floor of Lerner, in addition to their regular hours and drop-in sessions.

The auditorium of Earl Hall will be available today from 3 – 6 pm for all students, faculty and staff to be in community with one another.




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  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous I cannot believe that Barnard students are defending this murderer. 13 years old or not, he wanted to hurt her. He fucking maimed her. How dare we say things like “remember all the dumb things you did when you were 13?” as though that absolves the murderer of the horrific crime he committed. No, I never killed anyone as a 13-year-old, and anyone who does shouldn’t see the light of day again regardless of their age. For the sake of Tessa and her family, bring justice to this violent criminal.

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous This kid isn’t going to face any justice here. He’ll basically get out in his early 20s and maybe even get into GS if they get around to banning the box.

    1. Gary Chang, GS'14 says:

      @Gary Chang, GS'14 Uhhhh no you idiot… GS students are more likely to protect you in a situation like that than anyone else cuz many GS students have military background, having served in the Air Force, Army, Marines, Navy so forth… And even the ones who didn’t might have some sort of security background (like me), having protected high-profile clients. So stop crapping on GS students. Also the kind of breed that GS accepts are people of moral compass; hence, many of whom are former military folks, though that is not to say only military folks have moral compass. What an idiot making crapping statements about GS.

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous Over the past 2 days, I have heard a lot of victim blaming. The main question I keep seeing pop up is “Why was she in that park?” There is a rational explanation that could apply to any one of us.

    I don’t know about you, but when I was at Columbia, there were a couple times I ended up on the wrong side of the park. The first was when I took the A,C,E instead of the 1,2,3 during my first semester thinking it would take me to 116 on the other side of campus. I ended up being wrong and having to walk across Morningside. The other times were when I forgot to switch to the 1 train at 96th when coming from downtown. The 2,3 has a stop at 116th and Malcolm X from where I would also walk back if turning around was infeasible.

    Personally, I believe either could have happened to Tess that night. Given that she was also found with an uncharged phone, ordering an Uber was likely out of the question. Furthermore, she would have arrived at either station just before 5, when all cabs turn their lights off due to a shift change, which makes hailing a cab next to impossible and left her no choice but to walk back along 116.

    It is uncomfortable to accept that this tragedy could have befallen anyone here and is why I believe so many are latching on to the fact that “they” would never be in the park after nightfall.

    1. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous The reports say she was entering the park from columbia side

    2. BC '16 says:

      @BC '16 Honestly, I don’t care what her reason was for being in the park. Even if her reason for being in the park doesn’t pass whatever purity test people are applying to her, she did not deserve to be attacked or killed.

      1. Gary Chang, GS’14 says:

        @Gary Chang, GS’14 Well said Barnard BC’16! No matter the reason for her being in the park at night she does not and nobody deserve that kind of inhumane attack. We should be living in a peaceful place. By the way when I was at Columbia and when Columbia College folks made fun of us GS guys, it was Barnard that came to the rescue and defended us, just FYI, I think that’s how the relationship between Barnard and Columbia GS had built over time. :) Thanks and love to Barnard

  • Richie says:

    @Richie I would like to blame the university and the local officials for the poor lighting in that park and even the street lights look terrible on Morningside drive. This whole area is just too dark.
    You are aware that your employee’s and students have to cut through this park every day to commute back and forth to the school.
    Yes! the lighting was a recipe for disaster.
    I have been pretty upset for the last 12 days with just about blaming everyone for why this could of happened, but in reality these types of crimes are happening every day across our country.
    Society is in a very fractured state, and Donanl Trump has nothing to do with it.
    Systemic racism, corrupted capitalism, and just plain segregation has not improved
    One mm since MLK ‘s I have dream speech, and then both his and JFK’s assignations abruptly put and end to any such movement in the right direction of our citizens to some day be afforded as equals in all aspects of trying to build a path to a better life, at least fairness in dining out, fairness in employment, fairness in transportation, fairness in labor of a job, and fairness of pay.
    Malcom X I think said it wisely, you reap!what you sow!
    So what did we end up with here, a few underprivileged teens thinking it’s alright to hang out in the park and mug people of their possessions, hey mommy and daddy can get her a new cell phone right, no problem.

    The issue I take, the one that breaks my heart for young Tessa Majors was herself just a kid,
    It is quite simple and easy for three strong 13 & 14 year old boys to easily hold her and remove her possessions from her pockets, one of them already had her in a choke hold, she wasn’t going to fight them off with any chance of success, they knew that!
    To have to butcher her torso and neck and slice her face, this tells me this was a crime of passion
    And that passion unfortunately for Tessa was Hate. You do not savagely stab someone a dozen times to steal her iPhone .
    You committ a violent crime like this because you hate everything this girl represents, everything you never got a chance to be.
    And this was not your first time robbing people in the park, you knew the park and darkest area to strike.
    After all what are these young spoiled wealthy kids doing walking around your impoverished neighborhood.
    Well all of this just adds up to a disaster in the making.
    So after trying to blame all these different circumstances that eventually was a recipe for a
    Tragedy, and the loss of a wonderful excited little girl
    coming to the NYC for her first year of college
    So should have there been better lighting yes!
    So should the schools have been more diligent in warning students and staff about the prior mugging recently yes!
    So should students and staff and residents be able to safely cross through the park when needed at reasonable hours yes!
    So should our police offices be paid overtime for park detail work to help Columbia protect
    People in the park when it is dark outside yes!
    So should of those three teenagers savagely murded Young Tessa for a cell phone and maybe $20.00 OF COURSE NOT!!!!
    so should the one who repeatedly stab miss Tessa Rane Majors be tried as an adult when the catch him. YES HE SHOULD

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