25-year-old man facing murder charge for fatal stabbing of Columbia University grad student

A 25-year-old man was arrested and charged with murder Friday, The New York Times reports, after police said he stabbed two people, killing one of them, in New York’s Manhattan neighborhood late Thursday.

Vincent Pinkney was quickly apprehended by police in Central Park, where he was said to have been “menacing a third man with a knife,” the Times reported.

Pinkney has been charged for the death of Davide Giri, a Columbia University graduate student who the Times said “was traveling home from soccer practice just before 11 p.m. when he was stabbed in the abdomen about two blocks from his apartment building.” Giri was later pronounced dead at a local hospital.

The other person stabbed, a 27-year-old tourist from Italy, is reportedly expected to survive.

Horrifying crimes

According to the New York Post, Pinkney said little when approached by reporters ahead of his arraignment. Police said Pinkney is believed to have ties to gangs and has a long rap sheet.

The Post reports: “Pinkney has been busted 11 times since 2012 on charges including robbery and assault, and was on supervised release from prison for beating a man and slashing his face in 2013.”

The Post also claimed that Pinkey is under investigation “for the stabbing of another tourist — this one from Germany — fewer than 24 hours before Thursday night’s bloodshed.” He’s currently facing charges including murder and attempted murder.

The assailant was reported by witnesses to have been “jumping around — happy” following the Thursday attack.

Student remembered

According to the Post, police have said they have video footage showing the alleged murder, but have yet to identify a motive.

Giri, a 30-year-old who was studying at Columbia’s School of Engineering and Applied Science, is being remembered as star student and talented soccer player. According to The New York Times, Giri was on his way home from soccer practice when he was attacked Thursday night.

“Davide was the nicest and brightest person on the team,” his teammates said, as the Times reported. “We love you, man, you were a rock in defense and we will play and win for you because this is what you wanted.”

Columbia University president Lee C. Bollinger said in a letter sent to the campus community and shared by the Times that the news of Giri’s death “is both unspeakably sad and deeply shocking, as it took place only steps from our campus.” He added, “On behalf of the entire Columbia community, I send my deepest condolences to Davide’s family.”

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