Update: April 16, 2018
Binghamton University student arrested in Mountainview stabbing death
This article was updated at 2:43 p.m. on April 16 to reflect new developments.
Binghamton University student Joao Souza, 19, died after he was stabbed on the ground floor of Windham Hall of Mountainview College late Sunday night, police said.
The fatal stabbing occurred around 10:30 p.m., according to a B-Alert sent out by Binghamton University at 11:14 p.m. Binghamton’s New York State University Police (UPD) were on the scene, as well as New York State Police. The suspect fled on foot, and remains at large, according to police.
UPD Chief Timothy Faughnan was reluctant to release information on the suspect, but said there is a “distinct possibility” that the suspect is armed and dangerous and released photos of the suspect. Faughnan also said he was unsure whether the suspect was a student.
“Suspect fled on foot,” the B-Alert read. “Light-skinned male wearing dark pants and dark Puma hoodie. Police are on the scene. Avoid the area.”
Souza was a freshman majoring in engineering who graduated last year from Blind Brook High School in Rye Brook, New York. He is originally from Brazil. According to police, he was found seriously injured in his suite and was taken by Harpur’s Ferry ambulance to United Health Services Wilson Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead. His roommates have been relocated. At a press conference, Faughnan said UPD is working with the New York State Police and several other agencies to investigate the stabbing.
“We take our campus security very, very seriously,” Faughnan said. “We have increased the police presence across campus as well, to make sure students know that even though we are conducting a massive investigation, we want to make sure we are seen and students continue to feel safe and be safe.”
Early Monday morning, the University released a Dateline statement with further information on the stabbing. According to the statement, investigators do not believe the attack was random.
“Investigators from multiple agencies have been interviewing numerous people throughout the night,” the statement read. “They have reported that this does not appear to be a random act.”
According to Faughnan, information about the stabbing was released to the University community as soon as police confirmed what was happening.
“An alert was sent to the Binghamton University community through a text messaging system as soon as we had enough verified information to send that alert out,” Faughnan said. “Once we knew what to send, once we had enough solid information, that alert was sent out to the community.”
The University has not released details on the injuries leading to Souza’s death. Multiple residents of the building said they believed Souza had been stabbed in the neck and was bleeding. According to Faughnan, the investigation is continuing and information relating to the immediate welfare of students, faculty and staff will be released via B-Alert.
“We have a very large operation that is covering a number of areas,” Faughnan said. “We have interviewed many, many people throughout the night and through the day, and that continues as we speak. We have conducted property searches, in targeted areas, looking for evidence. We have utilized every available resource to make sure that we are leaving no stone unturned.”
Following the stabbing, Binghamton University canceled classes for Monday, April 16. According to Brian Rose, BU’s vice president for student affairs, classes are expected to resume tomorrow.
Rose also emphasized students should follow safety precautions, including carrying their BU ID at all times and reporting any suspicious activity to UPD. According to Rose, students should not allow unknown individuals into their residence halls and should keep their suites and doors locked. He encouraged students and parents to sign up for the University’s B-Alert system.
Check back for updates on this developing story.