Published January 21, 2014
An engineering student allegedly shot and killed a teaching assistant at Purdue University on Tuesday before he was taken into custody, police said.
The shooting, which was reported shortly after 12 p.m., was specifically targeted against the victim, whom authorities identified as Andrew Boldt, 21, of West Bend, Wis., though a motive was not immediately clear.
Within minutes of the attack, the suspect, Cody Cousins, 23, of Warsaw, Ind., surrendered to a West Lafayette police officer outside the building. Meanwhile, students described a chaotic scene as the university issued a lockdown alert and police officers stormed the 40,000-student campus, located about 60 miles northwest of Indianapolis.
Cousins, who was being held in the Tippecanoe County Jail on a preliminary charge of murder, wasn’t immediately cooperating with investigators, authorities said earlier Tuesday.
“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,” Ind. Gov. Mike Pence said in a statement.
As news of the shooting spread, students immediately feared the worst.
Julissa Martinez, a freshman nursing student, said she was in psychology class on another part of campus when she received the text message saying the university was on lockdown. She said her professor briefly kept teaching, then stopped lecturing so that students could contact people to let them know they were safe.
"He tried to get everything under control because people were freaking out," she said.
She said students were nervous because there was a lot of speculation about the severity of the situation.
"It was scary because you hear about it, but you never expect it to happen on your campus," Martinez said.
Senior Saran Mishra, editor of the Purdue Exponent, the campus newspaper, said some students reported hearing fire alarms and were told to evacuate.
"Right now I'm still in shock," he said.
Fox News' Edmund DeMarche and The Associated Press contributed to this report.