NEW YORK (FOX5NY) - Detectives charged a man found hiding in a basement closet of a Brooklyn home with beating to death a college professor whose body was found nearby.
Police responded to a 911 call just before 6 p.m. Monday about a burglary in progress at 155 Statford Road in Flatbush when they found the body of Jeremy Safran, 66, a professor at the New School, on the floor. He had suffered trauma to the head and body. A hammer was reportedly discovered near his body.
According to the New York Post, the suspect followed Safran's daughter to the location and spoke with her in an attempt to case the home. Later in the evening, a neighbor reportedly saw the man break into the home.
Police found Mirzo Atadzhanov, 28, in the closet and arrested him. Authorities charged him with murder and burglary.
Neighbors on the quiet, tree-lined street were alarmed on hearing the news about the killing.
Safran was a professor of psychology at the New School. He was the former director of clinical psychology at the Social Research department.
"We were shocked and saddened to learn last night of the tragic death of Jeremy Safran," the New School said in a statement. "We offer our deepest condolences to his family and will be offering support to his many friends and colleagues throughout the university community in the days ahead."
Safran had a Ph.D. from the University of British Columbia. He had said his interests were in developments in psychoanalytic theory and practice, as well as research on psychotherapy process and outcome. He had received several awards related to his work in psychotherapy research.