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New York police arrest 13-year-old in local woman's death

New York City police officials have confirmed to the The Associated Press that a 13-year-old boy has been charged with murder in connection with the Dec. 11 fatal stabbing of 18-year-old Tessa Majors, a 2019 St. Anne’s-Belfield School graduate and freshman at Barnard College.

The boy is expected to be tried as a juvenile delinquent in family court, police said, according to the AP. As many as three other youths may be involved, according to reports.

Reports from numerous New York media outlets Friday said police sources told them they arrested the boy near Morningside Park where Majors was stabbed about 5:30 p.m..

She made her way to a nearby Columbia University security guard building where the guard called 911 and provided emergency treatment.

Police said Thursday they had questioned several youths in connection with Majors’ death but said they had no made no arrests. One youth was in police custody for several hours before being released.

NYPD Chief Terence Monahan said in a Thursday night tweet that detectives were working hard to investigate Majors’ death.

“[Wednesday’s] murder of a young woman near Morningside Park is despicable, unacceptable and goes against everything New York City stands for,” he wrote. “NYPD detectives are working tirelessly to bring those responsible to justice.”

Columbia University officials said initial reports that the security guard was not in the building but was making rounds were inaccurate.

“The public safety officer assigned to 116th Street and Morningside Drive was at his post on Wednesday night when the victim emerged from the park and he came to her aid immediately upon recognizing that she was injured,” a university spokeswoman said in an email.

“Officers stationed at this location do not make rounds that cause them to leave their post,” the spokeswoman said.

In an email to The Daily Progress, New York Police Department officials said their officers responded to a 911 phone call around 5:36 p.m. Wednesday about a woman who had been assaulted “in the vicinity of West 116th Street and Morningside Drive.”

“Upon arrival, officers discovered an unconscious 18-year old female with multiple stab wounds about the body,” a police spokesman said. “Emergency medical services responded and transported the victim to Mount Sinai/St. Luke’s Hospital where she was pronounced deceased.”

Majors is the daughter of James Madison University professor and novelist Inman Majors and his wife Christy Majors.

“Tess shone brightly in this world and our lives will never be the same. She was super engaging and had very wide-ranging interests and friends. She was just so smart; she was a great songwriter and she loved music. She was just very alive. She was interested in making the world a better place,” a family representative told The Daily Progress on Thursday.

During Majors’ senior year in high school she served as an intern with the Augusta Free Press, covering a variety of stories from Waynesboro City Council budget sessions to a review of the area’s music scene.

She also wrote music and laid the groove as a bass guitarist with the local band Patient 0. The band, which played shows at local venues including The Southern, recorded and released an album available on Spotify. She had recently played in some New York venues, friends said.

In a May podcast with Augusta Free Press editor Chris Graham, Majors said she wasn’t sure what her major would be at Barnard but that she was looking forward to her time at the college. She said working for the newspaper was a continuation of her love for writing.

“I’ve always loved writing. I’ve been writing in various forms since I was little kid. I’d write a journal, write about myself, write poetry and I’ve recently started writing songs but journalism was a field I’d never really delved into before,” she said in the May podcast.

“It’s important to be able to take the chances,” she said. “No one is going to judge you for reaching out so you might as well do it.”


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