WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – A Purdue University student is facing a murder charge after allegedly killing his roommate in a residence hall on the Indiana campus, the school’s police chief confirmed Wednesday.
A university spokesperson confirmed to WTTV that a student was found dead overnight in McCutcheon Hall on the western edge of campus, and police believe that the suspect alerted authorities to the murder just before 1 a.m.
Purdue University Chief of Police Lesley Wiete confirmed during a Wednesday morning news conference that Ji Min “Jimmy” Sha, a junior cybersecurity major and international student from Korea, placed the call at around 12:45 a.m.
Wiete and the Tippecanoe County Coroner’s Office identified the slain student as Varun Manish Chheda, a 20-year-old senior from Indianapolis who was studying data science, NBC News reported.
Wiete characterized the attack as “unprovoked” and “senseless,” WTTV reported.
According to preliminary autopsy results, Chheda died of “multiple sharp force traumatic injuries,” and the manner of death has been ruled a homicide, NBC News reported.
The coroner’s office confirmed to the network that the autopsy’s findings remain incomplete until toxicology tests are completed.
Meanwhile, Purdue President Mitch Daniels issued the following statement on the homicide Wednesday morning: “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.”
According to its website, Purdue has about 50,000 undergraduate and graduate students enrolled for the fall semester, NBC News reported.