WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. —A Purdue University student was found dead in a residence hall early Wednesday morning.
Purdue police say the call came in shortly after midnight. They are investigating the case as a homicide. They have a suspect in custody. They believe the suspect is the victim’s roommate.
“This morning at 12:44 am, we received a 911 call from a subject alerting us to the death of his roommate. Neither one of them was asleep. I believe this was unprovoked and senseless,” said Lesley Wiete, Purdue University Chief of Police.
The coroner has identified the student who died as Varun Manish Chheda, 20, of Indianapolis. Police have identified the suspect as Ji Min Sha, a junior cybersecurity major from Seoul, South Korea.
It happened at McCutcheon Hall, which is on the west side of the campus.
This is the first homicide on Purdue’s campus since January 2014.
Purdue President Mitch Daniels released a statement about the homicide:
Dear members of our Purdue community,
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.