Columbia PhD Student Killed Near Campus

Davide Giri’s personal website (

The story speaks for itself. I have also linked the victim’s personal website. Looks like he was a brilliant individual. What a waste.

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Shocking, and tragic!

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Horrible deja vu! Columbia and Barnard need to implore students to STAY OUT of that park!!


I hope your new mayor takes this issue head-on!

This is a terrible, terrible event but not a reflection of crime in that area in general. There are several colleges in the area and it is a hugely gentrified part of NYC. It is a safe neighborhood. This is a terrible situation but I do not think it should change anyone’s thoughts on NYC. Last year was terrible for NYC in terms of murder and gun crime but this year it has decreased, hopefully this is an isolated incident and the person responsible was arrested within hours.


Naturally, as parents of college kids we are particular “vested” in these tragedies.

But, it helps to have a perspective: 8 Million people in the city alone, and 5% of the U.S. population living in the larger NY metro area, you would not be surprised to have 5% of crimes of all types occurring - except that in our area they are all part of the “local” news.

NYC has more population than many “big” states: Massachusetts, Tennessee, Washington State, Wisconsin, Minnesota… So, yes, you’ll get the crime news of multiple states all concentrated on one area - but does that make NYC any more riskier to live in than those states?

Tragically, we were reminded this week again, that high school students in a small town in Michigan, surrounded by stables, golf courses and rural neighborhoods are not in a safe place either, vs. a graduate student in NYC.


This is a tragic story. But you need to put it into perspective. Despite the common perception about the dangers of NYC it isn’t among the top cities in terms of violent crime in our country (on a per capita basis). In terms of murder rate, it is 80th - behind cities like DesMoines, Savannah, Indianapolis, Colorado Spring, Omaha etc.


The overall murder rate isn’t all that relevant to me, what is concerning is the murder rate of university students, which appears to be high at Columbia. If gang members kill each other in Savannah, or organized crime members murder each other in Des Moines, that is unfortunate but doesn’t pose much of a threat to my kids or other innocent people. College kids being randomly attacked 3 blocks from campus is a threat to my family.


I agree that violent, especially randomly violent, crimes, on or near campus, should concern students and their parents.


Differing from the NY Post story - both the NYT and Columbia reported this tragedy did not occur in Morning side park, but along Amsterdam avenue - a well travelled street for neighbors and college students. Not an area that would ever seem unsafe at 11pm.

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The situation is tragic and senseless.

I do disagree here. A neighborhood in which a law abiding student is killed in may not necessarily be dangerous, but it is by definition not safe. There are many urban neighborhoods no one is murdered in most years that are a comparable size to morningside heights. This also is not gang related violence, and this distinction is important. This was a phd student with no indication of criminal activity. The Barnard student in 2019 was buying what is now a permitted drug and ended up murdered by people under age 16. This would not happen in Ann Arbor or Charlottesville with this regularity.

Frankly it does not matter for the student if the perpetrator is convicted. The student isn’t coming back

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This is the correct interpretation. Gang members fighting over turf to sell drugs doesn’t matter to students except for misfires like in one of the three uchicago deaths this year. When criminals are engaging in predation of students (mugging murder and assault) that is a reason for concern.


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Regularity? Two cases in three years? I am sitting in my car right now in morningside heights waiting for my 15 year old to have lunch. The neighborhood is full of people walking, eating, including preteens alone. It is a safe area for kids and college students but terrible things can happen anywhere.


There are colleges in the area I live in. No student has been murdered in anyone’s memory, such an act would shatter the community’s sense of self. There are teenagers eating and walking and adults shuttling off to work everywhere in America outside of Naples Florida. They do this in the most dangerous neighborhoods, ones far worse than morningside heights. Two students died in Morningside heights since 2019, and they weren’t killed by other students. That number does not include many muggings, assaults, and other violent acts whether it was on students or other residents.

Yet, parents outside of NYC do let their kids attend elementary school, or high school, or go to the movies,… despite regular mass shootings since the Columbine massacre?


There’s a difference. For elementary schools and high schools, most students and their families don’t have a choice. For colleges, they do.


American deaths from firearms are extraordinarily dense in terms of geography. If you removed a few hundred squares miles of select neighborhoods (Morningside heights would be a borderline case), over half would be gone. The percentage of firearms deaths that are from school or movie mass shootings is minuscule. As another posted said, you have to go to school until you’re 16 or whatever age it is now. You don’t have to go to school in morningside heights or south side Chicago where students get shot up while obeying the law.