Columbia University student Davide Giri killed in NYC stabbing


A gang member with a lengthy rap sheet fatally stabbed a Columbia University student, injured a tourist and threatened another man in an unprovoked knife frenzy near the Manhattan campus Thursday night, police said.  

The terrifying 15-minute stabbing spree started when Columbia grad student Davide Giri, 30, was knifed in the stomach while jogging in Morningside Park just before 11 p.m., police sources told The Post Friday.

Giri stumbled out of the park and collapsed near the corner of West 123rd Street and Amsterdam Avenue, where he was found by cops. He was pronounced dead at Mount Sinai-Saint Luke’s Hospital.

A second victim, a 27-year-old Italian tourist, was found with stab wounds to the torso at West 110th Street and Cathedral Parkway 15 minutes later.

Davide Giri was a 30-year-old graduate student at Columbia.
Davide Giri was a 30-year-old graduate student at Columbia.
david-giri-facebook

Witnesses told cops the suspect had approached the male victim from behind and knifed him in the back before fleeing, sources said. The tourist was taken to the same hospital as Giri in a stable condition.

As cops were canvassing the area, a third man said the suspect had just threatened him with a knife in nearby Central Park.

The third victim, who wasn’t injured, went with cops and identified the knife-wielding suspect, sources said.

Vincent Pinkney
Vincent Pinkney was identified as the suspect in the stabbing spree.
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Vincent Pinkney
Vincent Pinkney is led away by cops after the stabbings.
Christopher Sadowski

The suspect, who was arrested inside the park but has not yet been charged, is allegedly part of the Bloods gang off-shoot, EveryBody Killer, according to sources.

The Manhattan man — identified as Vincent Pinkney — has 11 prior arrests dating back to 2012 for robberies and assaults, as well as other alleged crimes, police sources said. He is on post-release supervision until 2022.

He was convicted of gang assault in 2015 and served three years of a four-year prison stint, according to state Department of Corrections records. 

Vincent Pinkney
Vincent Pinkney is an alleged member of a Bloods offshoot group.
Christopher Sadowski
Columbia student Davide Giri is dead and another man injured in a pair of stabbings near the Manhattan campus Thursday night, according to officials.
Columbia student Davide Giri is dead and another man injured in a pair of stabbings near the Manhattan campus Thursday night, according to officials.
Christopher Sadowski

Cops are now investigating whether a third stabbing attack inside Morningside Park 24 hours earlier is linked to the recent frenzy, according to sources.

In that attack, a man was stabbed just after midnight on Wednesday and the suspect – who sources say matches the description of the latest perp – fled the scene.

The suspect’s father confirmed to The Post that the 25-year-old has “spent some time in jail” – but claimed he wasn’t “known to be violent at all.”

“I don’t really know if he’s involved in gang activity. I really don’t know where he hangs out,” the father said, adding he hadn’t seen him since earlier on Thursday.

Giri, the slain victim in Thursday’s attack, was a Ph.D. candidate in Computer Science at Columbia, according to his website.

amsterdam ave crime scene
The crime scene where a person was randomly stabbed on Amsterdam Avenue at West 123rd Street in New York.
Christopher Sadowski

The fatal stabbing occurred just a block from Morningside Park where Barnard student Tessa Majors, 18, was stabbed to death in a botched robbery in December 2019. 

Originally from Italy, Giri had been studying in the US since 2013, including a stint at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

“I write with great sorrow to share the tragic news that Davide Giri, a graduate student at the School of Engineering and Applied Science, was killed in a violent attack near campus on Thursday night,” Columbia University president Lee Bollinger wrote in an email to students Friday morning.

witness
A witness at the crime scene where a person was randomly stabbed on West 110th Street.
Christopher Sadowski

“This news is both unspeakably sad and deeply shocking, as it took place only steps from our campus.”

Originally from Italy, Giri had traveled the world and came to the US to study in 2013. He did a master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering at the University of Illinois at Chicago before settling in the Big Apple.

Giri also played on a local recreational soccer team.

Alex Starzyk, Giri’s neighbor and fellow Columbia student, was in shock over Giri’s death, telling The Post “I saw him all the time. He was always so nice.”

“He always held the elevator door for me any time he saw me carrying anything up or down the stairs,” Starzyk added.

“It’s so tragic for our intellectual community but also our apartment building. I go to the library all the time at 2 a.m. It’s a sanctuary. It’s devastating to think it’s unsafe.”

A neighbor who lives across the street from where Giri was found told The Post the area isn’t safe at night.

“I have lived here 25 years and this is as unsafe as it has ever been,” Yolanda Ramos, 69, said. 

The crime scene where a person was randomly stabbed on W110th Street at Morningside Drive
The crime scene where a person was randomly stabbed on West 110th Street at Morningside Drive.
Christopher Sadowski

“Violence and homelessness around here has worsened ever since (Mayor) de Blasio opened the jails. It’s open season.”

Giri’s fatal stabbing occurred just a block away from Morningside Park where Majors was stabbed to death in a botched robbery in Dec. 2019. 

One of the three teens charged in her murder was sentenced to nine years in prison in October. 

Additional reporting by Joshua Rhett Miller



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