Police search for motive in deadly Purdue shooting

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A path is lit for members of the Purdue All-American Marching Band during a vigil for a teaching assistant who was fatally shot on campus at Purdue University, on Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014, in West Lafayette, Ind. The victim was identified as Andrew Boldt, 21, a senior in electrical engineering from Wisconsin who lived on campus, according to Purdue. Another student, Cody Cousins, was arrested on a preliminary charge of murder, athourities said. (AP Photo/The Journal & Courier, Michael Heinz) MANDATORY CREDIT; NO SALES

A path is lit for members of the Purdue All-American Marching Band during a vigil for a teaching assistant who was fatally shot on campus at Purdue University, on Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014, in West Lafayette, Ind. The victim was identified as Andrew Boldt, 21, a senior in electrical engineering from Wisconsin who lived on campus, according to Purdue. Another student, Cody Cousins, was arrested on a preliminary charge of murder, athourities said. (AP Photo/The Journal & Courier, Michael Heinz) MANDATORY CREDIT; NO SALES

Purdue University Provost Tim Sands speaks during a vigil for a teaching assistant who was fatally shot on campus, on Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014, in West Lafayette, Ind. The victim was identified as Andrew Boldt, 21, a senior in electrical engineering from Wisconsin who lived on campus, according to Purdue. Another student, Cody Cousins, was arrested on a preliminary charge of murder, athourities said. (AP Photo/The Journal & Courier, Michael Heinz) MANDATORY CREDIT; NO SALES

EMS personnel speak with an Cody Cousins, 23, who was detained after a shooting inside the Electrical Engineering building on the campus of Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind. Cousins, of Warsaw, Ind., is being held in the Tippecanoe County Jail on a preliminary charge of murder, accused of shooting 21-year-old Andrew Boldt of West Bend, Wis. (AP Photo/The Journal & Courier, John Terhune) MANDATORY CREDIT; NO SALES

Purdue University students, faculty, family and friends gather at the steps of Hovde Hall for a vigil for a teaching assistant who was fatally shot on campus at Purdue University, on Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014, in West Lafayette, Ind. The victim was identified as Andrew Boldt, 21, a senior in electrical engineering from Wisconsin who lived on campus, according to Purdue. Another student, Cody Cousins, was arrested on a preliminary charge of murder, athourities said. (AP Photo/The Journal & Courier, Michael Heinz) MANDATORY CREDIT; NO SALES

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

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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — A routine day of classes was pierced by the sounds of gunfire, fire alarms and screams when a Purdue University student entered a basement classroom and shot and killed a fellow senior engineering student from Wisconsin, whom a former teacher described as having a “brilliant mind.”

Police haven’t determined why Cody Cousins, 23, shot Andrew Boldt, a 21-year-old teaching assistant from West Bend, Wis., inside the school’s Electrical Engineering Building about noon Tuesday.

Purdue Police Chief John Cox said witnesses believed the shooting was “an intentional act” but said there was no immediate indication Cousins and Boldt had past troubles.

No one else was injured, and Cousins is being held at the Tippecanoe County Jail on a preliminary charge of murder.

The shooting at the school about 60 miles northwest of Indianapolis prompted Purdue President Mitch Daniels to cut short a weeklong university trip to Colombia and cancel classes Tuesday and Wednesday.

“Violent crime, whenever and wherever it occurs, shocks our conscience and incites our rage. When it happens in our home, to a family member — and as a Boilermaker Andrew Boldt was family to us — those emotions are more powerful still,” Daniels said in a statement read Tuesday night at a campus vigil, which was attended by hundreds.

University officials praised the police response, but the shooting left many students jittery.

“I heard a couple (shots) and then I heard a man scream,” said sophomore Nick Wieland, who told the Journal & Courier that he was in a classroom adjacent to the one where the shooting occurred. “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.”

Cousins surrendered to a police officer outside the building after firing four or five shots, Cox said.

Former teachers described Boldt, an Eagle Scout, as someone who loved robotics and computers and was always willing to help others with technology issues. He spent two summers interning for John Deere in Silvis, Ill., according to his LinkedIn profile.

Jean Morrell, Boldt’s calculus teacher at Milwaukee’s Marquette University High School, recalled how he frequently stayed after class to talk to her about math concepts, robotics and his dreams of attending Purdue, Morrell’s alma mater.

“Andrew Boldt was a young man who had the potential to make the world a better place. He was a phenomenal young man,” Morrell said, her voice cracking. “He had a great mind but he also had a great heart. I’m just sad he won’t get an opportunity to realize his dreams, to make his contribution to the world.”

The Rev. Warren Sazama, the president of Boldt’s high school, said Boldt’s family was in shock.

“The mother said, ‘You don’t expect to get up in the morning and expect your son to be one in a million for a tragedy like this to happen,’” he said.

Little is known about Cousins, who

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