College Student Slain

A New York City Police Dept. Crime Scene Unit and officers assemble at an entrance to Morningside Park along Manhattan's Upper West Side, Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019, in New York. An 18-year-old Barnard College freshman, identified as Tessa Majors, has been fatally stabbed during an armed robbery in the park, sending shock waves through the college and wider Columbia University community.

NEW YORK (AP) — An 18-year-old Barnard College freshman with ties to the Shenandoah Valley was fatally stabbed in a park in Manhattan.

“With broken hearts, we share tragic news about the death of one of our students," Barnard President Sian Leah Beilock said late Wednesday in a letter to the campus. “This is an unthinkable tragedy that has shaken us to our core."

The letter identified the student as Tessa Majors, of Charlottesville and said she was fatally wounded during an armed robbery near Barnard's campus. Barnard College is part of Columbia University. Media reports identified Majors as the daughter of James Madison English professor and author Inman Majors.

Police said they responded to an assault report at around 5:30 p.m. and found an unconscious woman, who had been stabbed multiple times. She died at a hospital.

There have been no arrests.

The teen's parents headed to New York after learning the tragic news, her grandparents told New York's Daily News.

Her grandfather, Andrew Burton, called her “a lovely, lovely girl — very, very smart and sweet.”

Isabel Jauregui, a Barnard student who works on the Columbia Spectator campus newspaper, told The New York Times that students were on edge.

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