Student fatally shot inside fraternity house near campus in Newark; suspects at large

NEWARK, New Jersey (WABC) -- A 23-year-old student was fatally shot during a robbery at a fraternity house in Newark early Monday near the New Jersey Institute of Technology campus.

"This whole morning we're talking about locking doors and making sure windows are locked and stuff like that because it literally could have happened to any of us," said Kendrick Nunez, a Rutgers student.

What happened to Joe Micalizzi at his fraternity house pre-dawn hours Monday morning has rocked left two college campuses Monday; The New Jersey Institute of Technology and Rutgers Newark right across the street.

"Surprised, surprised, shocked, tragic, I could keep going on, it's insane," Nunez said.

Police say the 23-year-old second year mechanical engineering major at NJIT in Newark was shot and killed during a robbery attempt at the Tau Kappa Epsilon, TKE, fraternity house on the corner of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard and Central Avenue in Newark Monday. morning around 3:30.

"I saw cops surrounding the doorstop and I thought, 'Oh God, this cannot be good,"' said Daquan Jordan, a Rutgers student.

Police say the suspects broke into the back door of the fraternity house, wearing masks, which were later tossed down the street.

They say Micalizzi, a student on the dean's list, struggled with the robbers when was he shot twice and later died at University Hospital.

"I didn't know him personally, but I just know that he was a good person, he was a good student, I can tell you that," Jordan said.

"This house and the people in it are a great group of people, the NJIT TKE community. They are all really good kids, never had issues here or anything," said Christian Tavares, an NJIT student.

The university released a statement that read in part, "There is no imminent threat to NJIT's campus at this time and this tragedy is being investigated by the Essex County prosecutor's office, Newark and NJIT police. Details will be forthcoming regarding services for the slain student."

NJIT offered a $10,000 reward leading to the successful prosecution of the person or persons responsible.

In a written statement, the grand chapter of TKE said "We are still working to learn the details of what occurred and both the men at the Kappa-Eta chapter and International Headquarters will fully cooperate with the police investigation."

Micalizzi's family lives in Freehold. Monday night, cars of well-wishers surrounded his home, and dozens of his friends came by to try and comfort his parents.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Essex County Prosecutor's Office Homicide/Major Crimes Task Force tips line at 1-877-TIPS-4-EC or 1-877-847-7432.

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