DELHI _ The student who was stabbed Sunday morning on the SUNY Delhi campus died Thursday, according to a Bassett Healthcare spokeswoman.
Tyshawn Bierria, 22, of Queens, suffered multiple stab wounds and had been in critical condition at Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital in Cooperstown since the assault. The exact time of death was uncertain Friday, though a statement from SUNY Delhi indicated Bierria was pronounced brain-dead Thursday but remained on life support so his organs could be donated.
SUNY Delhi President Candace Vancko issued a statement Friday to notify students, faculty and staff of Bierria's death.
"It is with deep sorrow that I inform you of the death of Tyshawn Bierria," the statement began.
"This campus has been deeply affected by his death and by the strength and courage his mother and family have shown. Our hearts and prayers go out to the family. We will do all that we can to show the campus community's support for them during this very difficult time," read the State University College of Technology at Delhi statement.
Bierria's mother, Sharon Bierria, also issued a statement, in which she wrote, "Tyshawn has been declared dead, based on an EEG. We never stopped praying and never lost hope God's will be done.
"Tyshawn's life may have seemed short, but his mission was fulfilled. You can live to be 100 and not make a difference and you can live 22 years and bring people to Jesus," she continued. "Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God.' Tyshawn was a peacemaker. People are praying who have never prayed before.
"Tyshawn lives on through his organs. His heart still beats, his lungs still breathe. His organs were restored for a purpose and have been donated," she said.
"Students, I remind you we didn't come here for this. Go to school, study and graduate. Swagavelli is watching and he did not die in vain. I want to thank everyone for their love, concern, friendship and prayers," the statement continued. "I want to thank the college, students, faculty and staff and particularly the basketball team and athletic department. I also want to thank all of the hospital staff, police personnel, gospel choir and students who organized the fashion show.
"Everyone has been wonderful. Look up and stay focused," she said.
Police have arrested four people in connection with the stabbing and more arrests are pending. The men had all been charged with first-degree gang assault, a class B felony, and one count of second-degree attempted murder, a class B felony.
Delaware County District Attorney Richard Northrup convened a grand jury Friday morning. It was not immediately known when or if the charges will be upgraded to murder.
Jack Daniel Boampong, 19, of New York City, a SUNY Delhi student, was arrested Wednesday.
William Dorsey Jr., 22, and Raymond Brightman, 21, were arrested Tuesday and Olanrewaju Ogunwuyi, 21, was arrested late Monday. All three men are from New York City and are not Delhi Tech students.
Joel Smith, SUNY Delhi spokesman, said Boampong lived on campus in O'Connor Hall, which is across the street from Russell Hall, the dorm where Bierria resided.
Bierria was a second-year individual studies major with enough credits to graduate in May. He was injured during what appears to have been a brawl with several people at about 4:30 a.m. Sunday near Russell Hall, according to officials.
Bierria suffered a stab wound to his aorta as well as about nine other stab wounds, officials said.
The incident allegedly began as a dispute over a cell phone, a source close to the investigation said Monday.
The weapon used in the assault has been found, and investigators are questioning witnesses, officials said.
John Nader, SUNY Delhi dean of liberal arts and Bierria's college adviser, said Friday, "I am pretty startled. This is quite tragic. Tyshawn came back to school with the goal of graduating in May and the hope of leaving on graduation day.
"He was a very easy young man to get along with," said Nader, who is also Oneonta mayor. "He took guidance and advice very well. He had some obstacles to overcome, but he was responsive and quite committed.
"There is a real palpable pall over the campus," Nader said.
Smith said Bierria was well-liked, outgoing and always smiling.
"He spent most of his time playing basketball and working out in the fitness center," Smith said. "He loved to work out and was into weight training.
"Tyshawn was very popular and had a lot of friends," Smith added. "His fellow students had asked him to host and act as master of ceremonies for the fashion show, which is an honor."
Vancko said college staff will be available in Russell Hall at first floor lounge from 2 to 10 p.m. Saturday to support those in need.
Vancko said the New York state flag will fly at half-staff on campus until after the funeral in memory of Tyshawn. No information on services was available Friday.
Patricia Breakey can be reached at 746-2894 or at email@example.com.