Indiana News

One Dead, One in Custody Following Shooting at Purdue

Police: shooter and victim were both students

1/21/2014


Cody Cousins (photo courtesy Tippecanoe County Sheriff's Department)

One person has died and another person is in police custody after a shooting on the Purdue University campus.

Listen:

Andrew Boldt, 21 of West Bend, Wisconsin, died after he was shot in a "classroom area" in the basement of Purdue's Electrical Engineering building.  Boldt was a senior and a teaching assistant at Purdue.  The shooter was a student in Purdue's College of Engineering, Cody Cousins, 23.  He is being held in the Tippecanoe County Jail on a preliminary charge of murder.

The shooting was reported to campus police around noon Tuesday at the Electrical Engineering building.  Purdue Police Chief John Cox says it took place in front of several students in a "classroom area" in the basement of the building.  Cousins was arrested shortly after the shooting took place outside the Electrical Engineering Building by a West Lafayette Police officer who was arriving on the scene.  Cox says Cousins did not resist arrest and did not have a gun when he gave himself up.

The campus was locked down for about an hour while police searched other buildings, but Cox says rumors of other suspects or victims that some were circulating on the internet and in social media were unfounded.  "This individual seemed to have intentions for (the victim), took the action the individual took, then turned around and left the building," Cox said. 

Purdue junior Patrick Rivelli normally walks through the Electrical Engineering building around noon each day on his way to another building for class.  "I was about six feet from walking into the building when a swarm of about 70 or so people came running through the doors.  Then I heard sirens, and then I got a text on my phone about someone being shot," Rivelli said.  Rivelli did not hear any shots fired, and says he never thought his campus would have to deal with a shooting.  "You see these things on the news and you hear about them, and even when you are sitting here in the moment, it doesn't feel like it's actually happening."

Purdue initially reopened the rest of the campus, but classes were canceled Tuesday afternoon and will remain canceled on Wednesday.  Purdue Provost Tim Sands says President Mitch Daniels will return to campus sometime on Wednesday.  Daniels was in Colombia on a week-long trip and canceled the rest of the trip when he heard the news of the shooting.

In a statement read to attendees at a candlelight vigil on campus Tuesday night, Daniels said, "Violent crime, whenever and wherever it occurs, shocks our conscience and incites our rage. When it happens in our home, to a family member - and as a Boilermaker Andrew Boldt was family to us - those emotions are more powerful still.  Our prayers tonight are with Andrew and with his parents, who have suffered a loss beyond calculation or consolation. In our grief, we pause to thank this event's organizers, but equally each person in attendance. Through your caring witness, you are demonstrating your love for the Boldts, and for each other in the very special community we call 'Boilermakers.'"

Governor Mike Pence issued a statement following the shooting:

“Today’s shooting at Purdue University is a tragedy, and our heartfelt condolences go out to the family of the victim and to everyone in the Purdue community. I commend the professionalism of the West Lafayette Police Department in apprehending the suspect and bringing the situation to a swift conclusion. The Indiana State Police are on the scene and will continue to assist local law enforcement with the ongoing investigation.”

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