A Purdue University student was killed in a residence hall in West Lafayette, Indiana, early Wednesday morning, the university said.
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WISH) — A Purdue University student from Indianapolis died Wednesday in a homicide at an on-campus residence hall.
Purdue University Bell Tower. (Photo Provided/Purdue University)
A 22-year-old Purdue University student who is facing a murder charge in connection with the death of his 20-year-old roommate called authorities to their dorm room soon after Wednesday morning’s fatal incident.
Varun Manish Chheda.
Purdue Police Chief Lesley Wiete identified the victim as Varun Manish Chheda, a data science major at the renowned West Lafayette, Ind., school.
Wiete would not speculate on a motive while talking to reporters earlier this morning, but did say the suspect — a South Korean national named Ji Min Sha — lived with the victim in a first-floor dorm room in McCutcheon Hall.
The killing happened in their shared dorm room, which is where Purdue University police took Sha into custody.
Students in adjacent rooms were moved to safety.
Sha, who goes by the nickname Jimmy, is a cyber security major at Purdue, Wiete said.
An autopsy performed on Wednesday revealed that Chheda was stabbed to death, CBS4 Indy reports. He died from “multiple sharp force traumatic injuries,” according to the Tippecanoe County Coroner’s Office, per the outlet.
Ji Min Sha. PURDUE UNIVERSITY POLICE
Mitch Daniels, Purdue’s president, released a statement this morning, calling the crime “as tragic an event as we can imagine happening on our campus.”
Daniels added: “Our hearts and thoughts go out to all of those affected by this terrible event. We do not have all the details yet. Our Purdue University Police Department is conducting a thorough investigation of this incident so that we all may learn more about what transpired.”
Counselors are being provided to students who need them.
Daniels’ statement notes that “the safety and security of our students is the single highest priority on our campus.”
It is unclear if Sha has retained an attorney who can speak on his behalf.
This is the second homicide on the school’s campus in less than a decade.
On Jan. 14, 2014, Cody Cousins stabbed fellow student Andrew Boldt, 21, to death in Purdue’s Electrical Engineering building, reports the Indianapolis Star.
He openly confessed to the killing, pleaded guilty in court and received a 65-year prison sentence.
Cousins, 24, died by suicide in prison in late 2014.
University president and former Indiana governor Mitch Daniels shared the following statement:
Purdue University president Mitch Daniels said in a letter to students, “I write to let you know that early this morning, one of our students was killed in his residence hall room. The suspect, the victim’s roommate, called police to report the incident and is in custody.:This is as tragic an event as we can imagine happening on our campus and our hearts and thoughts go out to all of those affected by this terrible event.”We do not have all the details yet. Our Purdue University Police Department is conducting a thorough investigation of this incident so that we all may learn more about what transpired.”As is always the case, staff from our Office of the Dean of Students, our Residence Halls, and clinicians at Purdue’s Counseling and Psychological Services are providing support and are available to anyone who needs or wants their care.”As Purdue’s president, but even more so as a parent myself, I assure you that the safety and security of our students is the single highest priority on our campus. Purdue is an extraordinarily safe place on any given day, and compared with cities of Purdue’s population (approximately 60,000 in all), we experience a tiny fraction of violent and property crime that occurs elsewhere.”Such statistics are of no consolation on a day like this. A death on our campus and among our Purdue family affects each of us deeply.”I am ever grateful to all of you who continually take the time to care for each other and know you will do so in the days ahead.”