New York City police have arrested one juvenile suspect in connection with the fatal stabbing of an 18-year-old Barnard College student, according to three law enforcement sources.
The sources told ABC News that detectives believe there may be as many as three individuals linked to Wednesday’s killing of Tessa Rane Majors, a freshman at the private women’s liberal arts college which sits just outside Morningside Park in Upper Manhattan, alongside Columbia University.
Majors was walking through the park near campus on Wednesday evening when she was accosted by an unknown number of people and stabbed multiple times during a struggle. Majors managed to get herself out of the park and onto a nearby street, where she was spotted by a school public safety officer who called 911. She died soon after at a local hospital, according to the New York City Police Department.
Majors’ family said they have “lost a very special, very talented and very well-loved young woman.”
“Tess shone bright in this world, and our hearts will never be the same,” the family told ABC News in a statement Thursday.(MORE: Minors questioned in ‘horrifying’ fatal stabbing of Barnard College student)
Majors was finishing up her first year at Barnard College, with final exams set to begin Friday. The school’s president, Sian Leah Beilock, said that Majors was wounded “during an armed robbery” that occurred off campus in the park.
“This is an unthinkable tragedy that has shaken us to our core,” Beilock said in a statement.
Investigators continued combing Morningside Park for evidence on Thursday. The New York City Police Department’s chief of detectives, Rodney Harrison, told reporters that a knife was recovered from the crime scene but it’s unclear whether the weapon was used in the stabbing.
Several people have been let go after being questioned by police, Harrison said.
Police are increasing patrols near the park and the neighboring college campuses in the wake of Majors’ death, according to Harrison.
Hundreds of people gathered at Barnard College to mourn Majors at a vigil Thursday night. Students, faculty and other community members placed flowers, candles and notes at a makeshift memorial on campus.
“The idea that a college freshman at Barnard was murdered in cold blood is absolutely, not only painful to me as a parent, it’s terrifying to think that that could happen anywhere,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a press conference Thursday. “It’s an unacceptable reality.”