Binghamton Freshman Fatally Stabbed, Search On For Suspect

Apr 16, 2018

 A 19-year-old freshman was fatally stabbed on New York's Binghamton University campus and his assailant remained at large Monday, authorities said.

Engineering student Joao Souza was attacked at about 10:30 p.m. Sunday in a residence suite on the campus near the Pennsylvania state line. Souza's family was located in Brazil and requested privacy, according to the university.

Jonathan Ross, superintendent of the Blind Brook school district in Westchester County, told the Journal News that Souza graduated last year from Blind Brook High School in Rye Brook, where he was a standout soccer player.

The unidentified attacker fled on foot.

"At this time, the police are confident this was not a random act," the university said on its website.

Investigators from university and the state police interviewed people overnight. They described the unidentified suspect as a light-skinned male wearing dark pants and a dark, hooded sweatshirt.

The school, one of the four university centers in New York's sprawling state university system, canceled classes Monday due the "tragic event." Counseling was being offered to students and staff.

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.

SUNY Student Assembly President and SUNY Trustee Marc Cohen offered condolences on behalf of the SUNY system Monday.

“The thoughts of all SUNY students are with the Binghamton University family today,” Cohen said in a statement. “I have been in touch with BU’s student government to offer our condolences as well as any support they might need. In the coming hours and days more information will be released, and in the meantime, we encourage anyone in need to seek counseling services provided by the University. The Student Assembly is committed to ensuring no student need fear for their safety while furthering their education. We have every confidence that campus and community law enforcement will ensure that justice is served.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.