Three people were shot to death inside a car right by Columbia University's Morningside Heights campus and the Manhattan School of Music.
NYPD detectives believe the men were involved in stealing from drug dealers and may have been shot in retaliation, the Associated Press reported.
On Thursday, a passerby saw the three bleeding bodies on West 122 Street between Broadway and Claremont Avenue, at the north end of Union Theological Seminary's quadrangle, just south of the Manhattan School of Music, and around the corner from Riverside Church.
The bodies were inside a 2012 BMW 750LI sedan parked on a block with the entrance to the Manhattan School of Music and also Knox Hall, a Union Theological Seminary building leased to Columbia.
Police found the three Hispanic men dead of apparent gunshot wounds inside the $88,000 car. Two were in the front seat and the third was in the back seat.
After notifying relatives, the police have released the names of the victims: Heriberto Suazo, 26, Luis Catalan, 25, and Amaury Rodriguez, 30, all of Manhattan. All three men have several prior arrests, police said.
Detectives believe a fourth man sitting in the back seat shot all three men very quickly and then walked away from the car.
The NYPD released a security camera video of a suspect. Police have not made any arrests.
The Medical Examiner will determine the exact cause of death.
Knox houses classrooms and offices for the Department of Sociology, Middle East and Asian Languages and Cultures, Institute of African Studies, Middle East Institute, and South Asia Institute, according to the university's facilities website.
The BMW's license plates do not match the registration but the car has a temporary tag typically given to new vehicles, detectives said.
The General Grant National Memorial, colloquially known as Grant's Tomb, is just a block from the crime scene.
Columbia's emergency management operations team sent a text message to members of the campus community Thursday night, according to the Columbia Daily Spectator.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477) or www.nypdcrimestoppers.com.