A longtime Binghamton University anthropology professor known on campus as "a really nice guy" was stabbed to death in his office Friday by a grad student whose dissertation he was to judge, authorities said.
Cops said the as-yet unidentified attacker plunged a 6-inch kitchen blade into 77-year-old Prof. Emeritus Richard T. Antoun four times, puncturing his lung.
The suspect was still in BU's Science 1 building when police arrived, tackled and frisked him.
When cops asked about Antoun, the witnesses said he replied, "Yeah, I just stabbed him."
BU's Web site described Antoun as a "sociocultural anthropologist" whose scholarly interests focused on comparative religion, Islamic law and ethics and "the sociology of dispute with respect to tribal law in the Middle East."
Professors and students said the mood in the building was one of shock and fear.
"It's scary as hell," Peter Knuepfer, an associate professor of geological sciences, told the Ithaca Journal. "It's another one of those things like the downtown shooting," where a rampaging gunman shot 13 people dead at the American Civic Association in April. "You think it happens somewhere else, but it happens here too."
The Science 1 building was to be closed for 24 hours after the stabbing. Student counselors were put on duty throughout the weekend.
President Lois DeFleur condemned the slaying as "an act of senseless violence" and Gov. Paterson said Antoun would "live on in his writing, his research and in his students, whose lives he forever changed."