A Purdue University student has been identified as a suspect in the murder of his roommate.
Gji Min Sha, 22, is facing preliminary murder charges over the death of his roommate Varun Manish Chheda, 20, who was found dead in his McCutcheon Hall bedroom shortly after midnight on Wednesday morning. .
Residents in the hall said they were woken up in the middle of the night by “screams or some loud noises”.
Purdue University Police Chief Lesley Wiete said she believed the killing was “unprovoked and senseless.”
Sha was identified as a third-year cybersecurity student attending the school as an international student from South Korea.
An autopsy has not been performed on Chheda, and Wiete said police have not yet confirmed the cause of death or whether a weapon was used.
Sand has yet to be registered with the Tippecanoo County Jail, although Capt. Song Kang expects that to be done later Wednesday.
Purdue University police received a call at the McCutcheon Hall residence and found Varun Manish Chheda, 20, dead in his bedroom.
Police Chief Lesley Wiete said Chheda’s roommate, 22-year-old Gji Min Sha, was arrested as the prime suspect in Chheda’s murder. He faces preliminary murder charges.
Pictured: The campus of Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. Chheda’s death is the first murder at the school since 2014, when Andrew Boldt was shot and stabbed by Cody Cousins.
Sand called campus police at 12:44 a.m., Tim Doty, Purdue’s director of media and public relations, told the Indianapolis Star.
Sand, who identified himself as “Jimmy”, was arrested minutes after police arrived at the first-floor residence. Wiete said the campus will not be threatened once Sand is detained.
Chheda is a graduate of Park Tudor Private School in Indianapolis, 10 days before her 21st birthday.
“The entire Park Tudor community is incredibly saddened by the loss of Varun Chheda in the Park Tudor class of 2020,” Dennis Bisgaard, acting superintendent of Park Tudor Schools, said in a statement. “Our prayers are with his family during this difficult time.”
According to a Facebook post, Chheda is a semi-finalist in the 2020 National Merit Scholarship Program. Wiete said she is in her final year of data science at Purdue University.
Other residents on the ground floor of McCutcheon Hall have been moved to other locations, police said.
The last homicide on the school’s campus occurred in January 2014, when computer engineering assistant Cody Cousins was sentenced for the murder of electrical engineering student Andrew Bolt.
Cousins, then 24, entered the school’s electrical engineering building with a gun and a knife, then shot and stabbed Bolt, then 21. Cousins told police he had no criminal motive.
“Our hearts go out to the victim, his family and friends, anyone who knew him and anyone who came into contact with him in his life,” Witte said.
“It’s very sad and unfortunate for us today and I can’t even imagine what his family is going through right now.”
University President Mitchell Daniels said in an email to students that school staff are prioritizing the safety of students.
“This is the tragic event we can imagine on our campus, and our hearts and thoughts go out to all those affected by this horrific event,” he wrote.