NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A New Jersey Institute of Technology student was shot and killed early Monday morning during an armed robbery at a fraternity house in Newark.
Authorities identified the victim as 23-year-old Joseph Micalizzi of Freehold.
As CBS2’s Valerie Castro reported, police still had the area taped off as they probed the deadly shooting on Monday night. Patrols were increased during the late-night hours.
Roses were dropped off at the house by a member of another fraternity on the NJIT campus, as the school mourned the loss of one of its own.
The shooting happened around 3:30 a.m. at the Tau Kappa Epsilon house on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard near the NJIT and Rutgers University Newark campuses.
In a school-wide email, NJIT said the student was shot twice when he resisted the demands of two men who entered through a back door looking to rob him.
According to the university, the two suspects ran southbound down Martin Luther King boulevard after the shooting.
“I saw cops. I heard sirens. I saw flashing lights,” said Rutgers University Newark student Daquan Jordan. “I seen brothers outside the house and I didn’t know what happened.”
“Just to have all of this, the crime scene tape, a bunch of just cars, police cars,” Rutgers Newark student Kendrick Nunez told WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell.
Micalizzi was taken to the hospital, where authorities said he later died.
At Micalizzi’s family home in Freehold a close friend reacted to the news.
“There’s no words to explain how everyone feels, we’re his friends and we’re feeling it, but his family is another world,” Tyler Gdovin said. “He’d give the shirt off his back to help you out. He’d have $5 in his pocket, but he’d pay for your coffee that’s the kind of guy he was. ”
NJIT said Micalizzi was a junior majoring in mechanical engineering. He made the dean’s list in the fall and was in his second year at NJIT after transferring from Brookdale Community College, the school said.
“This is a tragic time for the student’s family, friends and the entire NJIT campus and we extend our thoughts and prayers to all affected,” NJIT President Joel Bloom said in a statement on the school’s Facebook page.
On Facebook, Micalizzi’s fraternity brothers changed their profile pictures to TKE in solidarity, CBS2’s Alice Gainer reported.
The school-wide emails that were sent by both NJIT and neighboring Rutgers Newark assured students and staff there was no imminent threat on campus, CBS2’s Magdalena Doris reported.
This is the second fatal shooting near the NJIT and Rutgers Newark campuses in less than a month.
On April 10, 21-year-old Rutgers student Shani Patel was killed and his roommate, a recent graduate, was seriously injured when they were shot inside their off-campus apartment, authorities said.
Police arrested 25-year-old Marcus Feliz in connection with the case.
But the frequency and close proximity of the shootings has students asking for more protection.
“I really think public safety should really work harder to protect their students,” Rutgers Newark sophomore Addae Williams told 1010 WINS’ Glenn Schuck. “I know this town is known for things like that, I know dangerous things like that can happen frequently. But I think that because this is the university’s area, that maybe we should try to protect the students more.”
“We’ve got to get a new door, we got to get cameras even if this was random, got to make sure this doesn’t happen to us,” Rutgers Newark student Paris Hall told Doris.
“It’s part of going to school in a neighborhood like this,” said NJIT freshman Abdul Hamid.
NJIT said plans for a memorial service will be announced. Grief counselors are also available on campus Monday.
The school is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the successful prosecution of the individual or individuals responsible, Bloom said. The Essex County Crimestoppers Program is also offering up to $10,000 for information leading to an arrest and conviction, for a combined total reward of $20,000.
The investigation is ongoing.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office Homicide/Major Crimes Task Force tips line at 1-877-TIPS-4-EC or 1-877-847-7432.