Update: the suspect in the case, Stephen Morgan, was apprehended Thursday night
Jewish institutions in the New York metropolitan area were advised to increase their level of vigilance Thursday afternoon after it was learned that the suspect wanted in the killing of a Jewish student at Wesleyan University was a former New York University student.
"Out of an abundance of caution we are advising Jewish institutions in the New York metropolitan area to raise their level of vigilance and to review their access control measures," said David Pollock, the JCRC’s associate executive director.
The suspect in the shooting was identified by police as Stephen Morgan, 29. He is believed to have disguised himself with a wig before confronting Johanna Justin-Jinich, 21, a junior from Timnath, Colo., in a bookstore where she worked near the Wesleyan campus in Middletown, Conn. Wednesday afternoon. Police said he shot her several times before fleeing.
Authorities placed the campus on lockdown, and the university’s Web site quoted officials as saying that Morgan’s journals had "expressed threats toward Wesleyan and/or its Jewish students."
Middletown’s only synagogue, Congregation Adath Israel, is located across the street from the bookstore, Broad Street Books. A Conservative synagogue, it was closed Thursday and a synagogue official was quoted as saying it might be closed on the Sabbath unless Morgan was caught.
Justin-Jinich had reportedly filed a harassment complaint against Morgan in the summer of 2007, but declined to pursue the matter. Both were enrolled in the same NYU six-week course.