WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind.–Hundreds of people gathered Wednesday night for a vigil to honor a Purdue University student who was killed early Wednesday morning.
Police say Varun Chheda, 20, of Indianapolis was stabbed to death in his dorm room by his roommate. That roommate, Ji Min Sha, was arrested.
At the vigil, Chheda’s friends and fellow students said he was passionate, kind, and always had a smile on his face.
“We will go through this together, in unity as a Boilermaker family,” said Dr. Pamela Sari, a Purdue professor and part of the school’s Asian Resource and Cultural Center, to the crowd who attended the vigil.
A student who spoke mentioned unity and how it is needed on both Purdue’s campus and the rest of the world.
“It is important during these times to be a community that continuously supports one another,” said the student.
Both before and after the vigil, there was mostly silence. Teachers and students left flowers and notes expressing their condolences in front of Purdue’s Unfinished P sculpture on campus. That is a symbol of all the students who don’t get to finish their Purdue experience.
Claire Schnefke, Residence Hall Association President, helped organize the vigil.
“Our campus is hurting right now. Everyone is scared. People needed to do something. They wanted to come out tonight and show their support,” said Schnefke.
Wednesday’s homicide was the first homicide at Purdue University since 2014.