DITMAS PARK/PROSPECT PARK SOUTH – Details are still scarce about what exactly happened on a sunny afternoon on Stratford Road this past Monday, May 7. What we do know is that neighbor Jeremy Safran, a psychotherapist and a Professor of Psychology at the New School was killed earlier this evening in the basement of the home he shared with his family on a quiet block of Prospect Park South.
Police were called to 155 Stratford Road shortly before 6 pm for a burglary in progress after a neighbor alerted Mr. Safran’s wife of a possible intruder. They found the 66-year-old homeowner with trauma to head and stab wounds to the body in the basement. Both wife and one of the daughters were home at the time of the attack, police confirmed today.
They found a suspect, a 28 old man, hiding in the closet and arrested him. He was identified by the police yesterday afternoon as Mirzo Atadzhanov, of Sheepshead Bay. Mr. Atadzhanov has since been charged with burglary and murder.
Mr. Atadzhanov is originally from Tajikistan, where he graduated college with a medical degree, and taught chess to children, and had just graduated Brooklyn College with a degree in Biology, according to his LinkedIn profile. Mr. Safran’s wife works at the Brooklyn College in the student counseling center, New York Times reported.
However, he had been in the news most recently not for his alleged chess prowess, but because he had been charged with attempted rape in 2016 in a case that was dismissed.
From a conversation last night at a police community meeting, which sorely lacked in officers who really could answer questions about what happened, it seems that cops believe they have the attacker apprehended and are not looking for others.
NYPD says that they are still unsure of a motive for the killing, and whether the victim knew Mr. Atadzhanov, but that it appears random at this point. Police responded in 45 seconds, we have been told repeatedly. The investigation is ongoing and we will keep following the case as it develops.