According to Tippecanoe County Coroner Carrie Costello and Purdue University police, Varun Manish Chheda, 20, of Indianapolis passed away early on Wednesday inside his first-floor dorm room in McCutcheon Hall. He appeared to have been the victim of a homicide.
Wednesday is the day of the autopsy.
Gji Min Sha, Chheda’s roommate, is the suspect and has been detained, Purdue said in a press conference at around 10 a.m. on Wednesday. Chheda majored in data science.
According to information from the news briefing, Gji Min Sha went by the nickname Jimmy and majored in cyber security.
The Tippecanoe County Jail announced at 10 a.m. that the suspect had not yet been incarcerated.
Purdue Police Chief Lesley Wiete commented on the suspect’s arrest, saying, “We got him pretty fast and there was no threat to campus by this man anymore.”
About 12:45 a.m. on Wednesday, the roommate called the police to report the murder. He allegedly is in police custody.
What is known about the Purdue homicide investigation Wiete did not speculate as to what might have prompted the death, but she did add that it happened within the dorm room, which is where they found the suspect.
When questioned about whether a weapon was used, Wiete replied, “I can’t discuss that just yet. I’m hopeful that our team can assist in releasing additional material to you for your reports as soon as we are given the go-ahead and we receive more information.
Because the suspect was in custody and there was no threat to the university community, Wiete added, police did not issue a campus alert.
When asked about the specific circumstances, Purdue police declined to comment and instead directed media to Doty, whose email stated that Purdue police are currently gathering information. He said that while the suspect is in custody, there is no threat to the Purdue community.
According to Purdue communication specialist Trevor Peters, students who were staying close to the murder site were relocated to different rooms, and the university has counselors accessible for those who require them.
Chheda is the fourth homicide of the year in Tippecanoe County.
According to Mitch Daniels, student safety is of utmost importance.
Mitch Daniels, the president of Purdue, issued a statement on Wednesday.
Our hearts and sympathies go out to everyone affected by this horrible tragedy since it is as tragic an incident as we can imagine taking place on our campus.
The safety and security of our students is our campus’s top priority, I can guarantee you as Purdue’s president but more so as a parent myself, Daniels added. “Purdue is an incredibly safe environment on any given day, and we experience a minuscule fraction of the violent and property crime that occurs elsewhere, compared with cities of Purdue’s size (about 60,000 in total).” Such figures offer little comfort on a day like today. Daniels added his appreciation for people who take the time to care for one another at Purdue as he concluded his formal statement, “A death on our campus and within our Purdue family touches everyone of us deeply.”
On January 14, 2014, Cody Cousins murdered Andrew Boldt at the Electrical Engineering building, marking the most recent homicide on the Purdue campus. After entering a guilty plea and receiving a term, Cousin later committed suicide injail in 2014
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