Gang member fatally stabs Columbia U. teaching assistant, then knifes second victim, before arrest in Central Park: NYPD

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A giddy gangbanger fatally stabbed a Columbia University teaching assistant during a random late-night Manhattan crime spree where he plunged the knife into a second man and terrorized a couple walking in Central Park, authorities said Friday.

Ex-con Vincent Pinkney, on parole for a gang assault conviction and owner of a long rap sheet, cried out in joy after the second Thursday night stabbing of a man walking along Columbus Ave. near W. 110th St. Police sources indicated the attacker, arrested in the Manhattan park after the last attack, belonged to the Queens-based EBK gang, an acronym for “Everybody Killas.”

“He was ecstatic,” said a Columbia student who witnessed the second attack shortly after the suspect fatally stabbed Davide Giri, 30, in the stomach at 11:09 p.m. on the corner of W. 123rd St. and Amsterdam Ave. in Harlem.

The victim, who came to the university from Italy, was pursuing his Ph.D. in computer science at the school, where he also served as a teaching assistant and a project mentor after arriving as a graduate research assistant in January 2016, according to his online bio. He was returning from a late-night soccer practice when slain for no apparent reason.

“The worst part is the family,” said a distraught woman outside the victim’s address. “And they’re going to say the problem was the city. At 11 p.m., you should be able to come back from soccer practice.”

His teammates at NY International FC remembered Giri as “a pillar of the club ... A lion never dies, he sleeps.”

The assailant, after the killing, headed south through Morningside Park in search of more targets, cops said.

When the deranged suspect reached W. 110th St. and Columbus Ave., near a pizzeria, he ran up from behind on second victim Robert Malastina, 27, before plunging the knife into the man’s back and then chest.

“Why? Why? Help me!” Malastina cried, according to the Columbia student who witnessed the crime from across the street.

“He tried to get up, and I told him to stay down,” the student recounted.

Police soon arrived, and the victim was taken away in an ambulance as the suspect fled to nearby Central Park, where he tried to stab a 29-year-old man walking with his girlfriend near W. 104th St., police said. The man fought him off, with a screaming match following before the suspect fled, sources said.

The would-be victim called police, who nabbed the suspect a short distance away. Pinkney, 25, of Manhattan, was previously arrested 16 times with multiple charges of robbery and assault, according to sources, and was on parole for the Queens conviction.

“Both [victims] were stabbed in the lower midsection,” said a police supervisor at the scene. “It appears they were unprovoked.”

Two years ago, Colombia student Tessa Majors, 18, was fatally stabbed on a staircase in Morningside Park.