An 18-year old Barnard student passed away after being stabbed in Morningside Park tonight during what police believe to be an armed robbery and assault.
An alert, sent out to Columbia students at 7:28 PM, warned students that the suspect was wearing a green jacket and a mask and that the police were in pursuit. Students were advised to avoid the 116th area as the police worked to investigate and apprehend the suspect.
An NYPD spokesperson told Bwog that an 18-year-old woman was murdered in Morningside Park, but refused to comment on the victim’s identity or affiliation with the university. Barnard Public Safety confirmed the incident involved a Barnard student in a text to students at 10:23 pm. Students were told that the NYPD continues to investigate and that they should expect an email shortly, which will feature hours at the counseling center. Students are still advised to avoid the area.
Bwog has reached out to Barnard for a statement and will update this post when we receive more information.
Update 10:47 PM: Columbia students received a Clery Crime alert confirming a Barnard affiliate was fatally stabbed during an attempted robbery in Morningside Park. There are two to three suspects, who fled south through the park. The alert encourages anyone who knows the identities of or sees the suspects is encouraged call 911 or Public Safety.
Update 11:34 PM: Barnard President Beilock emailed the Barnard student body at 11:01 PM, identifying Tess Majors (BC ’23) as the victim. Dean Grinage and President Beilock have notified the family. The Furman Counseling Center will be open all night tonight and all day tomorrow.
President Beilock’s full statement can be found here:
Dear Barnard Community,
With broken hearts, we share tragic news about the death of one of our students. Earlier this evening, Tessa Majors, a first year student at Barnard, was fatally injured during an armed robbery that occurred off campus in Morningside Park.
Dean Grinage and I have spoken to her parents and Tessa’s family is enroute to NYC. We are also in close touch with the New York Police Department as they conduct this on-going investigation and seek to identify the assailant in this horrible attack.
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.
In these difficult circumstances, it is important for us to take care of each other. The Furman Counseling Center will be open all night tonight and throughout the day tomorrow. We encourage anyone in need of support to come:
Furman Counseling Center: 100 Hewitt Hall, (212) 854-2092
In the days ahead, please know that all of our campus resources are available for you as we mourn this heartbreaking loss together. I encourage you to reach out to the following additional on-campus resources as needed:
Dean of Studies Office: 105 Milbank Hall, (212) 854-2024
After-hours psychological emergency line: (855) 622-1903
International SOS for students who are abroad: +1-215-942-8478
We will provide you with updates as they become available to us. Barnard and Columbia Public Safety are coordinating closely with the NYPD. We remind all students that public safety provides 24/7 escort services and students are free to reach out with any questions or concerns (212-854-6666).
To our entire Barnard community, I am in mourning with you and am here for you. Tonight and in the days ahead, please hold Tessa and her family in your hearts and keep each other close.
Sian Leah Beilock, President
Update 12:29 AM: Despite reports in other outlets, Bwog has confirmed with NYPD on the scene that they have not arrested a suspect at this time.
Update 12:39 AM: Dean Cristen Kromm forwarded President Beilock’s email to Columbia College and SEAS students at 12:34 AM. In her email, Dean Kromm says that Columbia University Counseling and Psychological Services will be open tonight until 2:15 AM on the fifth floor of Lerner Hall.
Dean Kromm’s full statement can be found here:
I am at a loss for words as I share with you an email from Barnard College President Sian Leah Beilock on the tragic death of Tessa Majors, a first year student at Barnard, who was fatally injured during an armed robbery that occurred off campus in Morningside Park.
I am shocked and truly heartbroken, as I know many of you are, and our priority in this moment, as we mourn together, is to connect you with staff here to support you now and in the days to come.
Tonight, Columbia University Counseling and Psychological Services will open until 2:15 a.m. on the fifth floor of Lerner. Counseling will resume at 9:00 a.m. on the eighth floor of Lerner. You can also reach a clinician 24/7 by calling 212-854-2878.
Several residential life staff and I will be in Wallach first floor Lounge, until 4:00 a.m., if you prefer to be with others as you process this tragedy.
Dean of Undergraduate Student Life
Columbia College and Columbia Engineering
Many people on campus are available to speak with you and provide support.
You are always welcome to reach out to your adviser in the Berick Center for Student Advising. You can also visit with the first available adviser during drop-in hours Monday–Thursday, 3:00–4:30 p.m.
Your RA is here for you. To contact the RA on-duty after hours — Monday–Thursday, 9:00 p.m.– 8:00 a.m. and Friday beginning at 9:00 p.m. through Monday at 8:00 a.m. — look for on-call contact information posted in your residence hall or online.
If you are ever concerned for a friend, please let an adviser know or, if you believe there is imminent danger, contact Public Safety at 212-854-5555.
You’ll find these and additional resources for support at wellbeing.columbia.edu.
Editor’s Note (3:30 pm, 12/14/19): Bwog has confirmed that Tess Majors used they/them pronouns. We’ve updated this and all of our coverage of their death to accurately reflect Tess’s identity.
Morningside via Bwog Staff