What to Know
- Tessa Majors was a freshman at Barnard College when she was stabbed in Morningside Park in what police say was a robbery
- The 18-year-old fought off her attackers as best she could, biting one of them on the finger
- One teen has been charged and police are still looking for other suspects
Police say they are talking to family and friends of a 14-year-old wanted for questioning in the murder of Tessa Majors but disputed reports that the teen took off running when he was about to go in for questioning.
"He didn’t jump out of a cab while attempting to turn himself in," NYPD Chief of Detectives Rodney Harrison told reporters Thursday. Law enforcement sources say there's no video to support the cab report. Police are now questioning if the teenager was ever going to turn himself in at all, or if he was trying to buy time to hide.
Police are still trying to identify all of the attackers allegedly involved in the brutal stabbing of the Barnard College freshman.
Majors was in the park just before 7 p.m. on Dec. 10 when, according to the NYPD, she was a victim of a "robbery gone wrong."
A law enforcement source said a witness saw a group of people running from where the attack happened and a 13-year-old boy has been charged with second-degree murder.
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At least two other teens have been questioned in connection to the 18-year-old's killing in Morningside Park but they were both released and not charged with any crimes.
In a hearing for the 13-year-old, police described how the group of teenagers put Majors in a chokehold and removed items from her pockets. The college freshman was able to fight back, biting one of her attackers on the finger, police said.
The teen that had been charged said he watch his friend slash Majors with a knife, according to a detective's testimony.
Detectives say the charged teen watched as Majors was stabbed at the base of the steps, feathers coming out of her jacket as she struggled to fight back. She was stabbed multiple times and managed to stagger out of the park to find a security guard for help. Majors died at a hospital.
In their statement Monday, Majors' family said they want to know "what exactly happened to Tess and who committed her murder. We believe, for the immediate safety of the community and the surrounding schools, that should be everyone’s top priority and we are grateful to the men and women of the NYPD for all of their efforts."
Police immediately stepped up security in the park area after Majors died. Crime statistics show more robberies were reported in Morningside Park this year than in any other park in the city.