The two apartment-mates of the man charged with stabbing a Binghamton University professor to death on Friday said Abdulsalam Al-Zahrani was confrontational, argumentative and "acted like a terrorist."
The three men lived together for the past three weeks in a first-floor unit on Main Street in Binghamton. The men were brought together by a landlord, who rented a vacant room to Al-Zahrani, a 46-year-old Saudi national who was working on his doctorate at BU.
Souleyman Sukho, a Senegalese doctoral student at BU, said during the three weeks the men lived together, Al-Zahrani "came at me with a knife."
"He asked me if I was afraid of dying," Sukho said. "Then he went into his room. I told him, 'don't ask me the question if you don't want to hear my answer.'
"He behaved like a terrorist," Sukho said. "He would open his door and would be screaming on the phone."
Sukho said he didn't understand what Al-Zahrani was screaming about because he was speaking in a language Sukho didn't understand. "He claimed he was persecuted."
The other roommate, Luis Pena, a 22-year-old master's degree student at BU, said he tried to mitigate the tension between Al-Zahrani and Sukho, but he, too, was concerned about Al-Zahrani's actions.
"He would be sitting here on the sofa and just blurt out, 'I just feel like destroying the world,"' Pena said. "He would just make weird remarks.
"He comes off calm (but) he could flip in a second," Pena said.
Sukho and Pena said they didn't hear Al-Zahrani make any references to Richard T. Antoun, 77, the Binghamton University anthropology professor emeritus who was stabbed to death Friday inside Science Building I on the Vestal campus.
Police spent nearly 18 hours at the apartment between Friday and Saturday, speaking to the roommates and searching for clues.