Purdue University student killed by 'Multiple Sharp Force Traumatic Injuries,' roommate in custody: officials

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The Purdue University student who was killed in his dorm room died of “multiple sharp force traumatic injuries,” according to the coroner.

Varun Manish Chheda, 20, was found dead in McCutcheon Hall on Wednesday morning, according to the Tippecanoe County Coroner Office. Ji Min Sha, 22, was identified as the suspect by Purdue Police Chief Lesley Wiete during a press conference.

Sha is facing preliminary murder charges.

A university spokesperson said that a 911 call regarding the incident was made at 12:44 a.m. on Wednesday, adding that there wasn’t a threat to the community. Purdue President Mitch Daniels said the victim’s roommate made the 911 call.

Preliminary autopsy findings by the coroner’s office show that Chheda was killed by “multiple sharp force traumatic injuries,” adding that the suspected manner of death is homicide, according to Carrie Costello, the Tippecanoe County coroner.

PURDUE UNIVERSITY STUDENT KILLED; ROOMMATE IN CUSTODY, POLICE SAY

Ji Min Sha, 22, was identified as the suspect by Purdue Police Chief Lesley Wiete during a press conference.

Ji Min Sha, 22, was identified as the suspect by Purdue Police Chief Lesley Wiete during a press conference.
(Tippecanoe County)

The final autopsy results are pending toxicology, Costello said.

Wiete, during a press conference, said that the incident was “unprovoked and senseless.”

“This is extremely sad and unfortunate for us today, and I can’t even imagine what his family’s going through at this time,” Wiete said.

Daniels said the university is a safe place and experiences a “tiny fraction” of crime that occurs elsewhere.

Photo of McCutcheon Hall on Purdue University campus, on Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022, in West Lafayette, Ind.

Photo of McCutcheon Hall on Purdue University campus, on Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022, in West Lafayette, Ind.
(Alex Martin/Journal and Courier / USA TODAY NETWORK)

“As Purdue’s president, but even more so as a parent myself, I assure you that the safety and security of our students is the single highest priority on our campus,” Daniels said. “Purdue is an extraordinarily safe place on any given day, and compared with cities of Purdue’s population (approximately 60,000 in all), we experience a tiny fraction of violent and property crime that occurs elsewhere.”

“Such statistics are of no consolation on a day like this,” Daniels added. “A death on our campus and among our Purdue family affects each of us deeply.”

INDIANA POLICE: FOUR FATAL SHOOTINGS IN GARY WERE NOT ‘RANDOM’ OR GANG-RELATED

Purdue University Police Chief Lesley Wiete addresses the media during a press conference following the murder of Purdue student Varun Manish Chheda, Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022, at McCutcheon Hall in West Lafayette, Ind.

Purdue University Police Chief Lesley Wiete addresses the media during a press conference following the murder of Purdue student Varun Manish Chheda, Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022, at McCutcheon Hall in West Lafayette, Ind.
(Alex Martin/Journal and Courier / USA TODAY NETWORK)

Chheda was studying in the university’s College of Science, according to a campus directory. Sha was studying at the Purdue University Polytechnic Institute.

Ian Conley, who is also a resident in McCutcheon Hall, told Fox News Digital that he’s still processing the incident.

“It was honestly just surreal. And I think it’s still taking time to sink in. I mean, I woke up to my friends sending me news articles and people texting me, making sure I was okay,” Conley said. “And it’s just, it’s one of those situations that you don’t really expect to happen this close to you. And it’s still taking time to sink in for me, I think.” 

Chheda is a graduate of Park Tudor School in Indianapolis, where he graduated in 2020.  

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A student walks through the Purdue Mall on the campus of Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, U.S.

A student walks through the Purdue Mall on the campus of Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, U.S.
(Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

The Interim Head of Park Tudor School Dennis Bisgaard told Fox News Digital that its community is “incredibly saddened” by Chheda’s death.

“The entire Park Tudor community is incredibly saddened by the tragic loss of Varun Chheda, Park Tudor class of 2020,” Bisgaard said. “Our prayers are with his family at this difficult time.”

Fox News’ Julia Musto contributed to this report.

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