An elite New York City college community is on edge after the stabbing murder of a freshman at a city park just off campus.
Barnard College freshman Tessa Majors was stabbed multiple times in the face and body by unknown attackers at Morningside Park on Wednesday night and was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital, police said.
The apparently random attack has left her friends and classmates stunned and saddened.
"That could have been literally any of us,'' one student told Ron Allen on TODAY Friday.
"This is a huge wake-up call for all of us,'' another student said.
Police have arrested a teenager in connection with the killing and authorities are continuing to search for other participants in the attack, two senior law enforcement sources told NBC New York on Friday morning.
Stabbing death of 18-year-old student shocks college communityDec. 13, 201901:36
The 18-year-old Virginia native was in the park just before 7 p.m. when she was approached by an unknown number of attackers ranging between one and three individuals, NYPD Chief of Detectives Rodney Harrison said at a press conference Thursday.
Majors was stabbed multiple times during a struggle and was able to stagger her way to the park's entrance, where she was found unconscious by a security guard and taken to the hospital.
"You have an incident like this and it shakes you to your core,'' NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said Thursday at a press conference.
The park was shut down Thursday as police searched for evidence. A knife was found, but police have not determined if it was one used in the crime, Harrison said.
The community is reeling from the loss of Majors, who was a musician and aspiring writer.
"We are all grieving, and trying to grasp the senseless tragedy that took Tess from us,'' Barnard College president Sian Leah Beilock said.
"Tess was a light that shined brightly and our hearts will never be the same,'' her family said in a statement.
New York City mayor Bill DeBlasio promised justice for Majors.
"These perpetrators will be arrested and will be prosecuted,'' he said at a press conference Thursday. "We're not gonna allow anything like this to happen going forward."