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Italian grad student stabbed to death in New York remembered as active in his church


Shutterstock | Mamunur Rashid

John Burger - published on 12/06/21

Davide Giri and his family in Italy were "always involved in the world of volunteering and the parish.”

A Columbia University grad student who was said to be active in church and charity work in his native Italy was stabbed to death last week.

Davide Giri, 30, a PhD candidate in computer science at Columbia, was attacked while walking through Morningside Park, near the Columbia campus in New York City, late Thursday. He was returning home after practice with his soccer team, NY International FC.

Giri, who came to the US eight years ago for school, was known back home for his charity work with his local church, the New York Post reported. 

On Saturday morning, Bishop Marco Brunetti of Alba visited Giri’s father, mother, brother and sister. “I was able to express my personal closeness and the Christian community of Alba and I shared the pain of a family devastated by the incident but full of Christian hope,” Brunetti said, according to the diocese’s website. “The parents told me: ‘David was much more than what the newspapers wrote, he truly honored the fourth commandment, honors his father and mother, and had a great sense of family.’”

“He was probably the warmest person I’ve ever met in my life,” friend Cesare Mercurio told the Post. “He had this way of making you forget bad things. He was smart and academically ambitious.”

Born in Alba, Italy, and growing up near Turin, Giri “was well known in Alba,” Mayor Carlo Bo told Quotidiano Nazionale. “His family has always been involved in the world of volunteering and the parish.”

Former Alba Mayor Maurizio Marello told the Post, “I know David’s family well. They are an example to us all and a very rare type, they are people who have always been involved in working for the community.” 

According to the New York tabloid, Giri’s LinkedIn profile, which has since been deactivated, said he worked as an “activity leader and coordinator” at a church’s summer camp.

Vincent Pinkney, a 25-year-old gang member with a lengthy rap sheet, was arrested over the fatal stabbing and another attack that left a 27-year-old tourist injured, the Post said.

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