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Purdue University student arrested in killing of roommate in Indiana dorm

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  • VIDEO COURTESY AP

  • ALEX MARTIN/JOURNAL & COURIER VIA AP
                                Students attend a vigil for Varun Manish Chheda at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind. Varun Manish Chheda, a student at Purdue, was killed inside McCutcheon Hall early Wednesday.

    ALEX MARTIN/JOURNAL & COURIER VIA AP

    Students attend a vigil for Varun Manish Chheda at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind. Varun Manish Chheda, a student at Purdue, was killed inside McCutcheon Hall early Wednesday.

  • ALEX MARTIN/JOURNAL & COURIER VIA AP
                                Students leave notes on the ‘Unfinished P’ during a vigil for Varun Manish Chheda at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind. Varun Manish Chheda, a student at Purdue, was killed inside McCutcheon Hall early Wednesday.

    ALEX MARTIN/JOURNAL & COURIER VIA AP

    Students leave notes on the ‘Unfinished P’ during a vigil for Varun Manish Chheda at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind. Varun Manish Chheda, a student at Purdue, was killed inside McCutcheon Hall early Wednesday.

  • ALEX MARTIN/JOURNAL & COURIER VIA AP
                                Purdue University Police Chief Lesley Wiete addresses the media during a press conference following the murder of Purdue student Varun Manish Chheda, at McCutcheon Hall in West Lafayette, Ind.

    ALEX MARTIN/JOURNAL & COURIER VIA AP

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

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. >> A Purdue University student was arrested Wednesday in the killing of his roommate in their campus dorm room, authorities said.

Ji Min Sha, a 22-year-old cybersecurity major from Seoul, South Korea, was arrested on a preliminary murder charge in the killing of 20-year-old Varun Manish Chheda, a 20-year-old data science major from Indianapolis, Purdue Police Chief Lesley Wiete said.

Tippecanoe County Coroner Carrie Costello said an autopsy determined that Chheda died of “multiple sharp-force traumatic injuries.”

Wiete said Sha, who goes by the nickname “Jimmy,” called police at around 12:45 a.m. “alerting us to the death of his roommate” in their first-floor dorm room on the campus in West Lafayette, which is about 65 miles (104 kilometers) northwest of Indianapolis, Wiete said.

He has not been formally charged. Wiete said investigators don’t know why Chheda was killed, but they think he was awake at the time.

“I believe this was unprovoked and senseless.” Wiete told reporters outside the residence hall.

Students living near the crime scene were moved to other rooms, and the university provided counselors for those who need it, Purdue spokesman Trevor Peters told the (Lafayette) Journal & Courier.

Purdue President Mitch Daniels said in a statement that “this is as tragic an event as we can imagine happening on our campus and our hearts and thoughts go out to all of those affected by this terrible event.”

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