ESTAL, N.Y. (AP) — Binghamton University officials were told that a graduate student accused of stabbing to death a 77-year-old professor was acting violently three days before the killing, a newspaper reports.
Abdulsalam Al-Zahrani, 46, remained held without bail Monday after being charged with second-degree murder in Richard T. Antoun's death. The professor was stabbed in his campus office Friday.
The Press & Sun-Bulletin of Binghamton reported that Al-Zahrani was described as "desperate" by a professor just minutes before the crime. The newspaper reported that same professor, Joshua Price, who directs the Philosophy, Interpretation and Culture program at the school, was concerned about complaints that Al-Zahrani was threatening a roommate.
The roommate, Souleymane "Jules" Sakho, has said that al-Zahrani came at him with a blade during the three weeks they shared an apartment with a third student.
Price arranged for Sakho to meet with university staff psychologist Donald Glauber last Tuesday. Sakho said in a subsequent e-mail that Glauber told him there was nothing to worry about because Al-Zahrani had promised to move out in January and the police and landlord were already informed.
"(Glauber) told me that I have to avoid the guy because the guy is a bit old and he's alone, he may have some psychological problems and he has some anxieties," Sakho said in an interview.
Glauber did not return a phone message and e-mail Monday from The Associated Press. The university also did not respond to requests for comment.
"You think, OK, what were the warning signs?" Price told the newspaper. "I don't want to evaluate (the counseling staff). I don't know whether they made any intervention besides logging the fact that they gave advice to Jules."
Price was also dealing with Al-Zahrani on Friday, the day of the killing. At 1:15 p.m., he had just finished writing an e-mail to a colleague regarding Al-Zahrani's situation. The e-mail, obtained by the Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin, read in part: "desperate grad student from anthropology. he's about to be evicted and he seemed visibly nervous."
After sending the e-mail, Price said when he walked out of his office Al-Zahrani was waiting for him. Price said he told Al-Zahrani he was checking on his request to transfer and couldn't give him an answer.
Price then went to meet some of his students for lunch.