A student at Binghamton University has been charged with second-degree murder in the stabbing death of 19-year-old student Joao Souza, marking the second homicide at the school in a five-week span.
The alleged perpetrator, 20-year-old Michael Roque of Long Island, was brought to Broome County Jail on Monday afternoon. Souza was stabbed on Sunday night in his dorm room around 10:30 p.m. Shortly after the stabbing, he was taken to a local hospital and pronounced dead.
B-ALERT: We are sad to report that a student has died due to a stabbing on campus that occurred at about 10:30 p.m. Sunday, April 15. The deceased is a male, age 19, in his first year at Binghamton University.
— Binghamton University (@binghamtonu) April 16, 2018
B-ALERT: Michael M. Roque, 20, a Binghamton University student, was charged this evening with second degree murder in the stabbing death of 19-year-old freshman engineering student Joao Souza. Roque was taken to the Broome County Jail following the arraignment.
— Binghamton University (@binghamtonu) April 17, 2018
This is the second homicide to take place at Binghamton University this semester. In March, 22-year-old Haley Anderson was found dead near campus. An investigation into her death pointed to Binghamton University student Orlando Tercero as the likely killer. Tercero fled to Nicaragua shortly after Anderson’s death.
In a statement to the community on Souza’s murder, Binghamton University President Harvey G. Stenger said that “violence is a part of society.”
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.
Souza’s death marks the second homicide for Binghamton University in a five-week span. In a news conference, Stenger said that the violence has taken a toll on all members of the Binghamton University community.
“The last two months have been very, very difficult,” Stenger said. “You can understand how difficult it must be for parents and for friends. You want to do anything you can to help them through these times.”