CHARLOTTESVILLE, V.A. (WVIR) - The Charlottesville community is mourning the death of a former St. Anne's-Belfield School student who was stabbed in New York City Wednesday night.
Eighteen-year-old Tessa Majors was in her first year at Barnard College. Police believe she was walking by herself around 7 p.m. Wednesday, December 11, when several people approached her, a struggle ensued, and one of the suspects stabbed Tessa multiple times.
“She was able to stagger her way up to the surface side of Morningside Street when she was observed by one of the school security guards,” NYPD Chief of Detectives Rodney Harrison said.
Tessa was rushed to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
“The idea that a college freshman from Barnard was murdered in cold blood is absolutely not only painful to me as a parent, it’s terrifying to think that can happen anywhere,” New York City Ma Mayor Bill de Blasio said.
The mayor had tweeted that police will be increasing their presence in the area immediately. He added, "We will keep this community safe, arrest the perpetrators, and ensure nothing like this can happen again.”
Those who knew Tessa describe her as a dedicated student, loving friend, and talented musician. She was the daughter of James Madison University professor and novelist Inman Majors, and lived in Waynesboro for several years before moving to Charlottesville.
Tessa also interned at the Augusta Free Press just last spring. Her former boss and owner of the online newspaper, Chris Graham, said Tessa loved New York and was excited to experience life in a big city.
Graham said Tessa liked covering hard news, and wasn't afraid of a challenge. She had just emailed him in November, saying she planned to take a journalism class in the spring.
"To me, the greatest tragedy here is that the world won’t get to see what she would have done. It may have been in music, it may have been in writing, and it may have been in something else. But she had a lot to offer the world and for it to be taken away so tragically, it’s a loss to her family and to everybody," Graham said.
A spokesperson for St. Anne’s-Belfield tells NBC29 that the school is in mourning and has made counselors available to students and alumni.
“Tess was a shining light in our community, a good friend, respected classmate, trusted teammate, and creative and passionate musician. Her death is an immeasurable loss, and we mourn alongside the Majors family and all who knew and loved Tess,” Head of St. Anne’s-Belfield School David Lourie said in a statement.
Tessa was also involved with the Music Resource Center (MRC) in Charlottesville. The center’s director, Alice Fox released the following statement:
“The entire MRC family is devastated by the loss of Tess Majors. An integral part of the MRC community, Tess was friendly, outgoing, and incredibly supportive of other MRC members. Tess was a talented musician and spent hours at the MRC recording and producing her most recent album “Girl Problems” with her band Patient 0. All of us at the MRC are mourning the loss of Tess, and our deepest condolences go out to her family and loved ones.”
Police are questioning a few people, but no arrests have been made at this time.
Editor’s Note: This is a developing story, and this article will be updated.