Student from Purdue University killed in a dorm

Varun Manish Chheda, 20, of Indianapolis, was identified as the victim by the Tippecanoe County Coroner's Office.

Student from Purdue University killed in a dorm
Credit: WTHR/Dustin Grove

WEST LAFAYETTE, Indiana — Purdue University police are investigating a killing that occurred overnight in a residence hall.

A 911 call was received by the Purdue Campus Police Department at 12:44 a.m. Wednesday from McCutcheon Hall, according to a university official.

The call was made by a suspect, the victim's roommate, who is now in arrest. According to a university official, there is no threat to the community.

Varun Manish Chheda, 20, of Indianapolis, was identified as the victim by the Tippecanoe County Coroner's Office.

A Purdue Campus Police Department representative declined to provide any details on the event, sending inquiries to university officials.

"This is as sad an occurrence on our campus as we can imagine, and our hearts and minds are with all of those touched by this dreadful event," Purdue University President Mitch Daniels said in a message addressed to students and employees Wednesday morning.

Students in McCutcheon Hall were transferred to another room as police investigated the incident. According to a university representative, Purdue's CAPS (Counseling & Psychological Services) department has psychologists accessible for walk-ins and will give crisis support to students who require it.

The homicide inquiry is still continuing.

Daniels' whole statement to Purdue students and faculty:

Dear Purdue University community members,

I'm writing to inform you that one of our pupils was murdered in his dorm room early this morning. The culprit, the victim's roommate, reported the event to authorities and is now in arrest.

This is the most awful tragedy we can fathom happening on our campus, and our hearts and prayers go out to everyone touched by it.

We do not yet have all of the information. Our Purdue University Police Department is investigating this event thoroughly so that we may all understand more about what happened.

Staff from our Office of the Dean of Students, our Residence Halls, and clinicians from Purdue's Counseling and Psychological Services are offering assistance and are accessible to anybody who needs or wants their care, as is always the case.

As Purdue's president, but more importantly as a parent, I can promise you that the safety and security of our students is our top concern on campus. On any given day, Purdue is an exceptionally safe environment, and when compared to cities of Purdue's size (about 60,000 in total), we encounter a minuscule fraction of the violent and property crime that happens elsewhere.

On a day like today, such figures are meaningless. A death on our campus or among our Purdue family members has a profound impact on everyone of us.

I am eternally thankful to those of you who consistently take the time to care for one another and who I know will continue to do so in the days ahead.

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