Second victim stabbed near Columbia University was visiting student doing research

ByEyewitness News via WABC logo
Monday, December 6, 2021
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A second man who was stabbed by a knife-wielding suspect near Columbia University on Thursday, was a visiting student doing research at the school.

MORNINGSIDE HEIGHTS, Manhattan (WABC) -- A second man who was stabbed by a knife-wielding suspect near Columbia University on Thursday, was a visiting student doing research at the school.

The President of Columbia University sent a letter to students and faculty on Saturday following the tragic stabbing that claimed the life of a 30-year-old student and injured a 27-year-old.

He says that the second victim, Roberto Malaspina, "had just arrived in New York City from his home in Italy, to begin several months of independent research as a Visiting Scholar at the School of the Arts."

Malaspina was a PhD student pursuing a doctoral degree in Philosophy and Human Sciences at Universit degli Studi di Milano.

The two men were randomly stabbed Thursday, apparently by the same knife-wielding suspect wandering the Morningside Heights streets surrounding Columbia University.

A third person was menaced by the suspect in Central Park when police arrived and made the arrest.

The first victim, a 30-year-old Columbia University student identified as Davide Giri, was randomly stabbed at 123rd Street and Amsterdam Avenue at 10:54 p.m.

He was pronounced dead at the hospital. Police say Giri, a graduate student at the School of Engineering and Applied Science, lived in Manhattan.

He was also a member of NY International FC, an amateur soccer team playing in the Cosmopolitan Soccer League. He was killed as he walked back to his Morningside Heights apartment after a soccer match.

About 15 minutes after Giri was attacked, Malaspina was stabbed at 110th Street and Morningside Drive.

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He was stabbed in the torso and taken to St. Luke's Hospital, where he is expected to survive.

"Right now, we are aiming for Roberto's full recovery and his being able to pursue his planned work as a cherished member of our community," President Lee Bollinger said.

The suspect, Vincent Pinkney, 25, was found at West 104th Street and Central Park West on the Upper West Side.

Pinkney was taken into custody with a large kitchen knife. He was arraigned Sunday on first-degree murder, first-degree assault, second-degree murder and second-degree assault charges.

Detectives believe he is responsible for both stabbings, but the investigation is in its early stages.

The school says they are working directly with police and city officials regarding the attack and will provide more information soon.

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