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Binghamton University Student Fatally Stabbed, School's Second Student Death In Five Weeks

"These tragedies shake us to the core and we grieve together," the university president said. 

By Eric Shorey
Timeline: College Violence And Crime

Binghamton University in upstate New York is reeling from two killings of students in five weeks, with the suspect for the second slaying getting arrested Monday.

"Unfortunately, we live in a time where violence is part of society," the university's president Harvey G. Stenger wrote in a note to the community.

"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."

Freshman engineering student Joao Souza was found seriously injured in his dorm Sunday night from what appeared to be stab wounds, campus police said. He was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead. Surveillance footage captured a man in a hooded sweatshirt who was believed to be the killer.

Police on Monday announced the arrest of Michael M. Roque, 20, for the killing. The university's police chief, Timothy Faughnan, said the attack seemed to be deliberate, but he did not elaborate.

"Throughout the investigation, it became quickly evident to us that this was not a random act. I have to leave it at that for now," he said at a news conference.

Roque has pleaded not guilty to the crime of second-degree murder, according to the Press & Sun Bulletin in Binghamton. A public defender entered the plea on Roque's behalf.

The stabbing came five weeks after the body of Haley Anderson, a 22-year-old nursing student, was found in an off-campus housing facility. She had been strangled to death, police said.

There is no indication that the two deaths are related.

Nursing student Orlando Tercero was identified as a suspect in Anderson's death. The two had dated previously. Tercero is accused of slashing Anderson's car tires months before she was killed, according to The Press & Sun-Bulletin.

Tercero had fled to Nicaragua after the death of Anderson. Police are attempting to extradite him.

University president Harvey G. Stenger reflected on the recent killings.

Stenger said in his statement to the university community that state law enforcement will be working with the school's residential communities "to protect life and property."

Binghamton has more than 17,000 students and is one of the most prominent schools in the State University of New York system. 

[Photo: Facebook]

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