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MIT offers condolences for student killed in New York

Officials at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology extended their sympathies Monday to relatives and friends of a student killed over the weekend in New York.

Andrew Esquivel, a 21-year-old California native who would have graduated in 2017, was killed about 3 a.m. Saturday when an off-duty police officer allegedly struck him while driving while intoxicated.

Three other people were injured, including MIT student Sophia Tabchouri, former student James Balchunas, and Divya Menezes, who was not affiliated with the university.

“President Reif, who is currently traveling, asked that I share this with you and that I express, on behalf of the entire MIT community, our deepest sympathy to Drew’s family and friends,” Chancellor Cynthia Barnhart wrote in an e-mail to the community, referring to MIT president Rafael Reif.


“To Sophia and James, we extend our best hopes for their recovery, and we offer them and their families any support we can. And to the larger circle of their MIT friends and connections, we join you in your shock and grief,” Barnhart said.

Barnhart, who said the university waited to write publicly until officials could contact Esquivel’s family, noted Esquivel’s accomplishments as a student, member of the wrestling club, and participant in the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program .

Along with condolences, Barnhart offered assistance to MIT students in need of support.

“I am inspired by our community’s outpouring of sympathy and heartfelt offers to help Drew’s family as well as Sophia, James, and their families,” Barnhart said. “We are a tightknit community, and we will continue to care for and turn to each other during this difficult period.”

Olivia Quintana can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @oliviasquintana.