Update: Slain New Jersey TKE Attempted To Fight Off Burglars

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We have some new updates on the Tau Kappa Epsilon brother and New Jersey Institute of Technology student who was murdered early Monday morning by burglars in his fraternity house in Newark.

The victim has been identified as 23-year-old Joseph Micalizzi, a second-year engineering student at NJIT. Multiple police sources confirmed to NJ.com that Micalizzi died after a struggle with two burglars, who shot Micalizzi in the hand and head.

The New Jersey Institute of Technology student killed inside his fraternity house early Monday morning attempted to fight off two burglars before the fatal shots were fired, NJ Advance Media has learned.

According to multiple police sources who asked not to be identified because they were not authorized to speak publicly, 23-year-old Joseph Micalizzi was inside the Tau Kappa Epsilon house when the intruders entered through a rear door just after 3 a.m.

After a struggle, they fired multiple shots, striking Micalizzi in the hand and head. He was pronounced dead at University Hospital shortly after 5 a.m.

Friends and teachers of Micalizzi who knew him best say they aren’t surprised he fought back. He was a wrestler with taekwondo experience. One of his former teachers, Joe Cantaffa, said Micalizzi was “the kind of kid you would want your own kids to be friends with.”

The New York Times interviewed Micalizzi’s father about the tragic death of his son:

“He died senselessly, that’s all I can say,” Mr. Micalizzi’s father, John, said, his voice trembling as he spoke from the family’s home in Freehold, N.J., where relatives and friends had gathered to cope with the news. “He was a good kid, studying very hard for his engineering degree. I haven’t met a single person who didn’t love him.”

No suspects have been identified in connection with the murder, and police are offering $10,000 for information leading to an arrest.

The murder comes after a series of crimes in the area surrounding the TKE house on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. Less than a month ago, a student at Rutgers-Newark was murdered at his off-campus home. There were also five violent deaths in Newark within the four days before Micalizzi’s death. Even the TKE house Micalizzi resided in had been broken into recently, the burglar taking off with cell phones and wallets before fleeing at the sight of a fraternity member.

“With all these other problems,” John Micalizzi said, “I’m scratching my head why they didn’t ramp up security. The students all pay a hefty fee to study there. There’s no explanation for it.”

Thoughts and prayers to the Micalizzi family, the Tau Kappa Epsilon brotherhood, and all of the people who knew and loved Joseph Micalizzi. He died as he lived: a fighter through and through.

[via NJ.com, The New York Times]

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