18-Year-Old Barnard Student Tessa Majors Stabbed to Death in New York’s Morningside Park

Tessa Majors in a photo she posted to her Instagram account.

Tessa Majors came to New York City to make some music.

Ms. Majors, an 18-year-old Barnard student whom everyone recognized by her green hair, grew up in Charlottesville, Va., and moved to New York City for college, spending her weekends singing and playing punk rock.

She and her band had just released their first album this fall and had played their first New York City gig in October.

But on Wednesday at 7 p.m., as Ms. Majors was walking through Morningside Park near her campus, she was fatally stabbed, the police said.

The killing of a first-year college student in Morningside Heights rattled city residents. New Yorkers, now accustomed to low crime rates, were reminded of a time when few people, especially young women, would consider walking in a park at night.

Police officials said they were still piecing together what took place on Wednesday night. Surveillance video has been recovered, which the police are reviewing, along with a knife, though police were unsure if it was connected to the killing.

Investigators interviewed two teenagers initially considered to be persons of interest in the case, but later released them.

“There is still a lot of work that needs to be done,” Rodney Harrison, the Police Department’s new chief of detectives, said, adding, “We are going to need the community to help us with the investigation.”

Ms. Majors was walking in the park when she was approached by one to three people near West 116th Street and Morningside Drive, Chief Harrison said.

There was a struggle, and one of the attackers pulled out a knife and stabbed Ms. Majors several times, he said. The attackers fled and Ms. Majors staggered up a flight of stairs, out of the park and onto the street, where a school security guard found her and called 911.

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SOURCE: The New York Times, Azi Paybarah and Alex Traub