The Italian man wounded in a Manhattan stabbing spree that left a Columbia University student dead is also connected to the school, it has been revealed.
Roberto Malaspina, 27, is an Italian PhD candidate who arrived in New York just a day before the attack to undertake a research project, Columbia president Lee Bollinger said on Saturday.
Malaspina was wounded in the deranged stabbing spree on Thursday night in Harlem, in which Columbia PhD candidate Davide Giri, 30, was stabbed in the stomach and killed.
Known gang member Vincent Pinkney, 25, was arrested minutes after the two attacks as he wielded a large kitchen knife and menaced a couple walking hand-in-hand in Central Park.
Roberto Malaspina, 27, (left) is an Italian PhD candidate who recently arrived on the Columbia campus to undertake a research project. He was wounded in the stabbing spree that killed Davide Giri (right) who is a grad student at Columbia
Vincent Pinkney, 25, was escorted into NPYD Central Booking on Friday night after he was arrested and charged with the stabbing murder of Columbia student Davide Giri in a wild Manhattan knife spree
Malaspina’s connection to Columbia was not initially clear in the aftermath of the attack, as initial reports identified him as a tourist from Italy.
However, Bollinger said in a letter to students and faculty that Malaspina ‘had just arrived in New York City from his home in Italy, to begin several months of independent research as a Visiting Scholar at the School of the Arts.’
Malaspina is a PhD student pursuing his degree in Philosophy and Human Sciences at Universit degli Studi di Milano, the letter said.
In fact, Malaspina had arrived in New York just 24 hours before he was stabbed in the apparently random attack.
‘He was there on his own for one day, to do a research in the American university, and now he is hospitalized,’ Malaspina’s father told Italian media.
Father Corrado Malaspina, a retired radiologist, said his son is now in stable condition and it expected to survive.
‘We have spoken with him on the telephone and thank God he is in good spirits,’ the father added.
Malaspina (above) is a PhD student pursuing his degree in Philosophy and had arrived in New York just 24 hours before he was stabbed in the apparently random attack
Pinkney reportedly moved south on his stabbing spree, moving from Morningside Heights to Central Park
Hundreds attended a candlelight vigil held for Columbia University graduate student Davide Giri on Friday in New York City
Malaspina’s mother said that her son is still to shaken up to discuss the details of the attack, including what the assailant might have said during his demented spree.
‘He still doesn’t want to talk about it, he doesn’t feel like remembering the incident,’ mother said in Italian media. ‘It is the shock of the moment. He will do it when he is ready, he certainly did it for the police.’
At a massive candlelight vigil on Saturday night, the Columbia community mourned the loss of Giri, with President Bollinger calling his murder an act of ‘unfathomable inhumanity’.
‘Davide Giri was our student, our colleague, our teacher, our friend, and our fellow Columbian,’ said Bollinger. ‘We so deeply feel the pain and the injustice of that life promise breached in an act of barbarous violence.’
Murder suspect Pinkney is a career criminal with a lengthy rap sheet, including convictions for assault and robbery.
He is a member of a Bloods-affiliated gang called Everybody Killas and was on parole at the time of the attacks for a 2015 gang assault.
Pinkney being held without bail on Rikers Island on charges of murder and attempted murder.
‘We had plans for a life together’: Heartbroken girlfriend of Columbia student knifed to death by gang member during Manhattan stabbing spree mourns the loss of her ‘kind and loving’ boyfriend
The girlfriend of Davide Giri, a Columbia University student who was fatally stabbed Thursday in New York City, was heartbroken as she reflected on they were preparing to begin their lives together once he finished his PhD.
Ana Gonzalez spoke Friday, shortly before 25-year-old known gang member Vincent Pickney was escorted into NPYD Central Booking on Friday night and charged with murder.
Giri, 30, a PhD candidate in computer science, died around 11 p.m. Thursday after being stabbed in the stomach by Pickney, a member of the Bloods gang off-shoot Everybody Killas who has 16 prior arrests dating back to 2012 and was out on parole for a 2015 gang assault, police said.
Gonzalez said that she was in a relationship with Giri that was going places and they had plans.
‘We had a long story, and we had plans for a life together soon after the end of his PhD in the beginning of next year,’ she said.
Ana Gonzalez, seen here with boyfriend Davide Giri, said she and the fatally stabbed Columbia student had plans for a life together after he got his PhD
Gonzalez was was reticent to speak to reporters, still speaking in the present tense about Giri, saying ‘we are together’
Columbia University held a memorial service Friday night for Giri that was attended by over 2,000 people
Davide Giri, 30, (right) a PhD candidate in computer science at Columbia University, died after being stabbed in the stomach by Vincent Pickney (left)
The university held a memorial service Friday night for Giri that was attended by over 2,000 people.
Gonzales was was reticent to speak to reporters, still speaking in the present tense about Giri, saying ‘we are together.’
‘He was a kind and loving person,’ she added.
Columbia University President Lee Bollinger spoke about Giri at the memorial, calling him a ‘brilliant young man.’
‘I extend my deepest and most heartfelt condolences to each and every one. I send our love and support to Davide’s parents and family.’
Giri was a sixth-year doctoral student in the Columbia School of Engineering and Applied Science.
The fatal stabbing of Giri took place just a block away from where Bernard College student Tessa Majors, 18, was viciously stabbed to death in December 2019 as violent crimes continue to rise in New York City.
Bollinger wrote in an email to students: ‘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.
‘This news is both unspeakably sad and deeply shocking, as it took place only steps from our campus. ‘