1 dead in Purdue shooting; student in custody

Comment: Off

Police evacuate students from the Electrical Engineering building after shots were fired on Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014, on the campus of Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind. Officials at Purdue University say one person has been killed in a shooting at the campus classroom building. Purdue Provost Tim Sands says he didn’t immediately know the identity of the person killed or the person’s connection to the university. Campus police chief John Cox says the suspect is in custody after surrendering outside the Electrical Engineering Building following the shooting. (AP Photo/Journal & Courier, John Terhune) MANDATORY CREDIT

Police evacuate students from the Electrical Engineering building after shots were fired on Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014, on the campus of Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind. Officials at Purdue University say one person has been killed in a shooting at the campus classroom building. Purdue Provost Tim Sands says he didn’t immediately know the identity of the person killed or the person’s connection to the university. Campus police chief John Cox says the suspect is in custody after surrendering outside the Electrical Engineering Building following the shooting. (AP Photo/Journal & Courier, John Terhune) MANDATORY CREDIT

A police officer walks out of the Electrical Engineering Building on the campus of Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind., Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014 where one person was killed inside a classroom by a gunman who surrendered to a police officer within minutes of the attack, officials said.. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Police investigate a reports of a shooting at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind., on Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014. Police say they have a person in custody and the university says it told people to take shelter and have cleared the building as the area is searched. (AP Photo/The Journal & Courier, John Terhune)

A police is parked outside the Electrical Engineering Building on the campus of Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind., Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014 where one person was killed inside a classroom by a gunman who surrendered to a police officer within minutes of the attack, officials said.. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Police lockdown the area after shots were fired on Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014, on the campus of Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind. Officials at Purdue University say one person has been killed in a shooting at the campus classroom building. Purdue Provost Tim Sands says he didn’t immediately know the identity of the person killed or the person’s connection to the university. Campus police chief John Cox says the suspect is in custody after surrendering outside the Electrical Engineering Building following the shooting. (AP Photo/Journal & Courier, John Terhune) MANDATORY CREDIT

Buy AP Photo Reprints

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — A Purdue University engineering student opened fire inside a basement classroom Tuesday, killing a teaching assistant and prompting officials to put the campus on lockdown, police and the university said.

Cody Cousins, who is believed to have targeted Andrew Boldt inside the Electrical Engineering Building, surrendered to a police officer within minutes of the attack, Purdue Police Chief John Cox said.

Investigators were trying to determine a motive for the shooting, which happened around noon on the campus in West Lafayette, about 60 miles northwest of Indianapolis. No one else was injured.

“This appears to be an isolated and intentional act,” Cox said.

Boldt, a 21-year-old senior and teaching assistant from West Bend, Wis., died at the scene. Cousins, a 23-year-old senior, who according to police has addresses listed both in Warsaw, Ind., and Centerville, Ohio, was being held on a preliminary charge of murder Tuesday night at the Tippecanoe County Jail.

Students described a chaotic scene on the campus. Sophomore Nick Wieland told the Journal & Courier that he was in a basement classroom adjacent to the one where the shooting occurred.

“I heard a couple (shots) and then I heard a man scream,” Wieland said. “Then the last few kind of trailed off as I got under my desk. . (I was) just very scared. That’s what I felt the entire time.”

Julissa Martinez, a freshman in nursing, told The Associated Press that she was in a psychology class on another part of the campus when she received the text alert from university officials telling students to seek shelter.

She said her professor briefly kept teaching, then stopped lecturing so students could contact people to let them know they were safe.

“He tried to get everything under control because people were freaking out,” Martinez said, adding that students were nervous because there was a lot of speculation about the severity of the situation.

The shooting was reported at 12:03 p.m. and Purdue officials issued the campuswide text alert shortly afterward. Cousins was taken into custody outside the engineering building within minutes of the shooting.

Around 1:15 p.m., the university texted students to tell them there was no ongoing threat on campus and that normal operations would resume in all buildings except the engineering facility.

But the university later announced that classes were being suspended through Wednesday. Special counseling services were being offered to students at several sites around campus.

Purdue Provost Tim Sands said the university’s president, Mitch Daniels, was on a weeklong school trip to Colombia but would be cutting his travel short. He was expected to return to campus Wednesday.

Sands, who in June will become president of Virginia Tech, where a 2007 campus shooting left 33 dead, said Purdue will offer assistance to those who need it.

“We’ll provide whatever services we can to assist our students, our faculty and our staff in coming back to a sense of normality,” he said.

Boldt was an Eagle Scout who graduated in 2010 from Marquette University High School, a Jesuit school in Milwaukee. He spent two summers interning for John Deere in Silvis, Ill., according to his LinkedIn profile.

Family members of Boldt could not be reached for comment Tuesday night. Relatives of Cousins also could not be reached.

Jean Morrell, Boldt’s high school calculus

Comments

comments

About the Author