A Massapequa man was arrested and charged in the stabbing death of a Binghamton University student in a residence hall Sunday night, authorities said.
Michael M. Roque, 20, also a Binghamton University student, was being held late Monday night at the Broome County jail, according to the Broome County sheriff’s office, which confirmed he is from Massapequa.
Roque is charged with second-degree murder in the stabbing death of Joao Souza, 19, a freshman engineering student, officials with the Binghamton University police said in a late-night alert posted on their website.
The alert said Roque had been assigned a public defender and pleaded not guilty Monday night at the Broome County Central Arraignment facility.
“We absolutely believe this is not a random act,” Broome County District Attorney Stephen Cornwell Jr. told reporters after Roque’s arrest.
Souza was attacked about 10:30 p.m. Sunday inside the Windham Hall residence hall, authorities said.
Police took Roque into custody after university officials on Monday released surveillance photos of the suspect, his head covered by a hoodie. A university tweet asked people to be on the lookout for a male in a dark Puma hooded sweatshirt and dark pants.
State Police and forest rangers joined university police searching for the suspect.
Shortly before 5:30 p.m. Monday, Binghamton University’s police chief tweeted that a suspect was in custody.
“There is no active threat to the campus, but we will maintain additional police patrols tonight,” the tweet said. “Thank you to everyone who provided tips and info.”
Souza was from Brazil, university officials told reporters at a Monday news conference.
“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,” Binghamton University president Harvey Stenger said. “The entire campus mourns for him. Our sympathies go out to his friends and family, as well as to his classmates and peers.”
The fatal stabbing comes just over a month after the killing of a student from Long Island, Haley Anderson, 22, of Westbury.
Anderson was strangled on March 9 in the off-campus apartment of a fellow student she had briefly dated, authorities said.
Orlando E. Tercero, 22, is charged in the death, the district attorney said.
With Tribune News Service