Vincent Pinkney: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

vincent pinkney

mugshot/Facebook Vincent Pinkney (L) and Davide Giri.

Vincent Pinkney is the suspect accused of fatally stabbing Davide Giri, a doctoral student at Columbia University, in New York City.

He is accused of then stabbing another man and threatening to stab a third person, and his lengthy criminal history is causing controversy.

Giri’s website reveals he was a promising scholar who already had multiple publications and projects to his name.

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer wrote, “I have learned with profound sadness about the death of a young man, Davide Giri, a graduate student whose life was taken from us too soon. He was killed not far from where Tessa Majors was killed also. I thank the NYPD for their quick actions in apprehending a suspect.”

Tessa Majors was an 18-year-old freshman at Barnard College who was stabbed to death two years ago in Manhattan. A security guard found her, but it was too late.

Here’s what you need to know:

1. Giri Was Stabbed as He Returned Home From Soccer Practice

According to the New York Times, Giri was stabbed to death near the Columbia University campus, about two blocks from his apartment.

Giri was heading home from a soccer practice around 11 p.m. He was stabbed “in the abdomen,” The Times reported.

The suspect is accused of stabbing another person nearby, Robert Malastina, 27, wounding him, the New York Daily News reported

The Times reported that the 25-year-old suspect was arrested inside Central Park. He then tried to stab a third man who fought him off successfully, Daily News reported.

Daily News reported that, according to witnesses, Giri was targeted randomly and for no reason.

2.Pinkey Is a Known ‘Gang Member’ on Parole

According to CBS Local, citing sources, Pinkney is “a gang member based in Queens who has 16 prior arrests and was out on parole after serving four years behind bars for gang assault.”

The New York Daily News described Pinkney as being “on parole for a gang assault conviction and owner of a long rap sheet.” Daily News reported that his record includes a 2013 offense in which Pinkney and four men attacked a person, leaving wounds that required 25 stitches on his face and 20 staples to his head.

Davide Giri

FacebookDavide Giri.

Giri’s accomplishments stand in stark contrast.

According to his website, Giri was a Ph.D. Candidate in Computer Science.

“Ph.D. Candidate in Computer Science at Columbia University, part of the System-Level Design Group. Research interests include architectures and system-level design methodologies for heterogeneous system-on-chip, with particular focus on hardware accelerators,” he wrote.

He was also working on projects involving computer science and Harvard and Princeton Universities. His thesis was in “Agile Design and Integration of Accelerators in Heterogeneous SoC Architectures.” He was a teaching assistant and project mentor.

Giri’s Facebook page shows him hanging out with friends on a couch and at a pool. Little else is visible on his page.

3. Pinkney Is Accused of Being ‘Giddy’ as He Stabbed a Second Person

davide giri

FacebookDavide Giri.

The New York Daily News described Pinkney as being “giddy.”

The newspaper cited a witness as saying Pinkney “cried out in delight after the second … stabbing.”

“He was ecstatic,” a Columbia student who witnessed the second stabbing told Daily News.

Giri’s website explains that, before he was a graduate research assistant at Columbia University in New York, he worked as a test engineer for Fiat Chrysler Automotive in California and was a graduate researcher in Italy.

His website lists these jobs:

Jan 2016 – Present
Columbia University
Graduate Research Assistant
Department of Computer Science, System-Level Design Group

New York, NY, USA
May 2018 – Aug 2018
NVIDIA Research
Graduate Research Intern
ASIC/VLSI Research Group

Santa Clara, CA, USA
May 2015 – Dec 2015
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
Test Engineer
Electrical and Electronics Validation Department

Torino, Italy
Jan 2014 – Dec 2014
Politecnico di Torino
Graduate Researcher
Department of Electronics and Telecommunications, VLSI Lab

Torino, Italy
Mar 2012 – Jul 2012
EnviSens Technologies
Firmware Design Intern

Chivasso, Italy

4. People Offered Tributes on Social Media to Giri, Who Was a Classical Pianist Who Played Competitive Soccer

The New York Times reported that Giri “had played soccer competitively for more than two decades, including with an international club in New York,” and was a classical pianist.

NY International FC wrote, “You are a Legend, Davide. We Love You. We extend our deepest condolences to his family during this time.”

People are offering tributes to Giri on social media.

“First came the email to the Columbia University community early this morning. Now a television camera crew is stationed outside of the Amsterdam Avenue gate of the campus, across the street from our place. Another senseless killing. Instead of posting about his murder, I’m providing a link to Davide Giri’s personal page. I did not know him but I am thinking about who he was before he was violently robbed of his life,” a woman wrote.

Giri listed prominent awards on his website:

Fall 2018
Columbia University
Andrew P. Kosoresow Memorial Award for Excellence in Teaching and Service

New York, NY, USA
Politecnico di Torino
Scholarship for the Top-UIC M.Sc. double degree program

Torino, Italy / Chicago, IL, USA
Politecnico di Torino
Scholarship for the PoliTong B.Sc. double degree program

Torino, Italy / Milano, Italy / Shanghai, China

5. Columbia University Declared Itself ‘Deeply Saddened’

Columbia University released a statement about Giri’s murder:

We are deeply saddened to share that Davide Giri, a Columbia Engineering graduate student, was killed in a violent attack near campus last night. A criminal investigation is ongoing and police have a suspect in custody. Little more is known at this time, but we will continue to share details here, including about gathering together as a community, as soon as we are able.

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