Cody Cousins, 23, fatally shot Andrew Boldt, 21, a teacher's
assistant, at about noon in a basement classroom of the university's
electrical engineering building, according to Purdue University
Police Chief John Cox.
The shooter seemed to have had only the victim as his intended
target, leaving the building immediately after the shooting, Cox
"It's just a tragic situation," Cox said, adding that the shooter
was taken into custody without a struggle shortly after he exited
the engineering building.
Cousins is being held at Tippacanoe County jail, said Cox, who did
not disclose a motivative for the shooting during an afternoon press
University officials said the campus was considered safe, though the
electrical engineering building remained closed. A candlelight vigil
is planned for Tuesday night on campus, and classes will be
suspended Wednesday, officials said. Students are being offered
counseling, officials said.
Upon hearing of the shooting, campus officials immediately ordered
issued text alerts to students, faculty and staff across campus,
instructing them to take shelter as police searched the area.
"We have drills and we always try to prepare for the worst and hope
for the best," university spokeswoman Liz Evans said. "This is
definitely a tragic day for our campus."
Indiana Governor Mike Pence called the shooting a "tragedy."
"Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family of the victim and to
everyone in the Purdue community," Pence said in a statement,
pledging state law enforcement assistance in the investigation.
Julia Chester, an associate professor of psychological studies at
Purdue who is also an organizer for a gun control lobbying group,
said she was in her office on campus when she received the
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"No matter how many drills you've been through, panic takes its toll
on logic," she said in a statement. "The shooting ... is still being
investigated, but regardless of the outcome, there is one thing we
all already know: we owe our children and ourselves a world where we
don't have to live by lockdown."
The frequency of shootings at schools and universities in the United
States is fueling the national debate over gun control. On Monday
night, a student was shot and critically wounded outside an athletic
center at Widener University in Chester, Pennsylvania, near
Last week alone, two students were shot at a high school in
Philadelphia, another was shot at a high school in Albany, Georgia,
and two students were shot at a middle school in New Mexico.
Gun ownership laws in the United States have come under intense
scrutiny since December 2012, when 20 young children and six
educators were shot dead by a long gunman at Sandy Hook elementary
school in Connecticut.
(Reporting by Carey Gillam in Kansas City, Chris Francescani and
Marina Lopes in New York, Brendan O'Brien in Milwaukee and David
Bailey in Minneapolis; editing by Scott Malone, Gary Crosse and
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