A 20-year-old Purdue University student was stabbed to death by his roommate inside their dorm room in a school residence hall early Wednesday morning, local authorities said.
The student’s roommate, Gji Min Sha, was taken into custody within minutes of calling police just before 1 a.m. to report the death of Varun Manish Chheda in McCutcheon Hall, authorities in West Lafayette, Indiana, said at a press conference. The 22-year-old now faces a charge of murder.
Chheda died from “multiple sharp force traumatic injuries,” according to a preliminary autopsy report. The toxicology report is still pending, the Tippecanoe County Coroner’s Office said.
“I believe this was unprovoked and senseless,” Purdue University Police Chief Lesley Wiete said when asked if there was a struggle.
Sha, a junior, is an international student majoring in cyber security from Korea. Chheda was a senior majoring in data science, she said.
“We had him very quickly, and there was no threat to campus by this individual any further,” she said.
In a statement to students, Mitch Daniels, the university’s president, assured them of the school’s safety following the tragedy.
“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,” he said.
“Such statistics are of no consolation on a day like this,” he added. “A death on our campus and among our Purdue family affects each of us deeply.”
In 2014, a Purdue University student Cody Cousins fatally stabbed and shot his classmate Andrew Boldt inside a classroom. Cousins and Boldt were teaching assistants in Purdue’s electrical engineering program at the time.
Cousins was sentenced to 65 years in prison but killed himself later that year while behind bars.