NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Police have arrested a Binghamton University student following the deadly stabbing of another student on campus Sunday night.
20-year-old Michael Roque said nothing as he walked into the Broome County Jail Monday night, facing charges in the death of 19-year-old Joao Souza.
Souza, an freshman engineering student, died from his injuries after he was stabbed inside his dorm room at Binghamton’s Windham Residence Hall around 10:30 p.m.
Giuliano Santucci was stunned to hear the news his former soccer teammate was murdered.
“He got along with everyone, really respectful kid,” he said. “I’m not sure why this would happen to him.”
Police say the murder wasn’t random, but the motive remains unclear.
“At this time, the police are confident this was not a random act,” posted the university on its alert line. “If there is information that relates to the immediate welfare of students and the campus community, we will communicate it via our alert system.”
Souza graduated from Blind Brook High School in Westchester County last year. Friends say he was known as a good student and a star soccer player.
“On the field, off the field, in the classroom, out of the classroom, the man was all around a wonderful person,” former classmate Sammy Landino said.
The New York Soccer Club released a statement, saying in part; “Joao was not just a player for New York Soccer Club, but a member of the NYSC family. Joao was a friend and a fine young man who will be missed greatly.”
Souza was from Brazil, where his parents were at the time of his death. His soccer family in the United States now vows to honor his memory on the field.
“I’m going to fight for you every game I play and you will be in my prayers,” Santucci said.
Because of the attack, all classes at Binghamton were cancelled for Monday.
Officials say the suspect’s name will not be released at this time.
University President Harvey Stenger released the following statement Monday evening:
Dear Binghamton University Community,
I am deeply saddened to write to you regarding last night’s stabbing that led to the death of one of our students, Joao Souza, a 19-year-old freshman engineering student. The entire campus mourns for him. Our sympathies go out to his friends and family, as well as to his classmates and peers. A suspect is in custody. I thank our Binghamton University Police, New York State Police and the Broome County District Attorney’s office for their quick work in apprehending the individual as quickly as possible.
As president, my top priority is keeping everyone in our campus community safe. I want to reaffirm to you Binghamton University’s commitment to providing a safe learning environment. Unfortunately, we live in a time where violence is part of society, and, as a campus of 17,000+ students and several thousand faculty and staff, there are occasions where violence will intrude on our campus. We will continue to focus on keeping ours a safe campus, with a fully-empowered state law enforcement agency that works closely with the residential communities to protect life and property.
Part of fostering a safe campus involves quick, clear communication with the community. Over the past 18 hours we’ve sent a number of messages alerting parents, students and faculty and staff. However, to get the alerts, faculty and staff need to sign up for the service by going to https://www.getrave.com/login/binghamton and logging in or going to BU BRAIN in http://my.binghamton.edu to update B-Alert contact information. Subscribers can add up to three email addresses and three cell phone numbers by clicking on “My Information” and updating their information under Emergency Alert Notification (Rave Mobile Safety).
This has been a very difficult semester for me and the entire campus with two student deaths in just a few weeks. These tragedies shake us to the core and we grieve together.
This was the second slaying of a student in the last two months. On March 9, the body of Haley Anderson, of Westbury on Long Island, was found in the off-campus apartment of a fellow student she had briefly dated. She had been strangled.
“For the second time this semester we’ve struggled to absorb the news that one of our students has been killed,” university vice president Brian Rose said.
The Broome County district attorney’s office is seeking to have that suspect returned from Nicaragua to stand trial. As for Roque, police say he’s plead not guilty to second degree murder.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)