A Massapequa resident has been charged with the fatal stabbing of a Binghamton University freshman.
According to police, Michael M. Roque, a 20-year-old student at Binghamton, fatally stabbed 19-year-old Joao Souza at 10:30 p.m. Sunday, April 15, in an on-campus residence suite. Binghamton University officials say the attack was targeted, however, there is no known motive.
Souza, an engineering student from Brazil, died at the hospital from his injuries.
According to reports, Roque fled on foot following the attack, prompting a search involving multiple police agencies. He was later found by police in his on-campus dorm room.
Roque has been charged with second-degree murder.
He was assigned a public defender who entered a not guilty plea on his behalf at the Broome County Central Arraignment facility. Following the arraignment, he was taken to the Broome County jail. He is being held without bail.
The incident comes just five weeks after the murder of another Binghamton University student, Haley Anderson of Westbury, who was found strangled in the off-campus residence of Orlando Tercero, whom she had briefly dated. After the alleged murder, Tercero had fled to Nicaragua, where he holds dual citizenship. Tercero, a Binghamton University student, faces second-degree murder charges with legal procedures in motion to extradite him.
“This has been a very difficult semester for me and the entire campus with two student deaths in just a few weeks,” said Binghamton University president Harvey Stenger in a statement. “These tragedies shake us to the core and we grieve together.”