An early morning burglary at a New Jersey fraternity house has left a 23-year-old college student dead, making it the second slaying of a local student in three weeks.
Joseph Micalizzi, who was studying mechanical engineering at the New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark, was fatally shot inside of the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity house around 3 a.m. Monday, his school announced.
NJ.com, citing police sources, reported that the college junior was attempting to fight off two burglars when he was shot twice. The home had been burglarized perviously "in recent weeks," sources told the paper.
As of Tuesday, no arrests had been made. The NJIT and the Essex County's Sheriff's Crimestoppers Program are both offering up to $10,000 for information leading to an arrest and conviction, for a combined total reward of $20,000.
Micalizzi, who made the dean’s list in the fall, was in his second year at NJIT after transferring from Brookdale Community College, his school said. An on-campus memorial has been scheduled for Tuesday night in his honor.
Micalizzi's family, meanwhile, is still trying to make sense of what happened.
“He died senselessly, that’s all I can say,” his father, John, told the New York Times from the family's home in Freehold, New Jersey. “He was a good kid, studying very hard for his engineering degree. I haven’t met a single person who didn’t love him.”
Tragically, Micalizzi’s death comes about three weeks after 21-year-old Shani Patel, a student at Rutgers-Newark, was fatally shot during a robbery at his off-campus apartment. The murder scene was just three blocks from the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity house.
Local reports have suggested the April 10 robbery may have been drug-related. Newark man Marcus Feliz has since been charged with Patel’s murder.