Purdue University student murdered in residence hall, roommate arrested
In West Lafayette, Indiana, police are looking into the homicide of a Purdue University student who was found dead in a dorm room.
The roommate of the deceased has been detained and charged with murder.
Purdue’s Director of Media and Public Relations Tim Doty said in a statement that the victim’s roommate called 911 at 12:44 a.m. on October 5. According to Purdue University Police Chief Lesley Wiete, who spoke at a press conference on October 5, the suspect is Ji Min “Jimmy” Sha, a 22-year-old junior from South Korea who is majoring in cybersecurity.
The Tippecanoe County Coroner’s Office has issued a preliminary autopsy report that identifies the victim as Varun Manish Chheda, 20, a senior from Indianapolis majoring in data science. Chheda died from “multiple sharp force traumatic injuries.”
Neither a motive nor anything Sha may have said in the 911 call have been made public.
Wiete remarked at the press conference, “I believe this was unprovoked and senseless.”
In a statement, school administrators assured the public that there was no danger.
It is as horrible an event as we can imagine occurring on our campus, and our hearts and thoughts go out to all of those affected,” Purdue President Mitch Daniels stated in a statement posted online on October 5.
Purdue University Police Department is still looking into the event, Daniels said.
He said that if any of Purdue’s almost 50,000 students in West Lafayette, Indiana, were to experience difficulties, they may seek help from the residence hall staff, the Office of the Dean of Students, or the university’s counseling and psychological services. According to WTHR, the call originated in McCutcheon Hall, and students in the area were relocated while police conducted their investigation.
“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,” Daniels said. “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.”
Interim Head of Park Tudor School in Indianapolis, Dennis Bisgaard, released a statement expressing the school community’s “saddened” over Chheda’s passing and confirming Chheda’s graduation from the school in 2020.
According to Bisgaard’s statement, “the entire Park Tudor community is incredibly saddened by the tragic loss of Varun Chheda, Park Tudor class of 2020. “Our prayers are with his family at this difficult time.”