Friends remember fast times for slain Purdue engineering student

Andrew Boldt (Purdue University photo)

Friends of Purdue shooting victim Andrew Boldt are remembering the slain senior for his skills around the racetrack as well as in the classroom.

Some of Boldt's friends told Eyewitness News Friday they knew of no tension between Boldt and fellow senior Cody Cousins leading up to Tuesday's tragedy. Cousins is facing a murder charge in the 21-year-old's shooting death.

"We're as shocked as everyone else watching this," said Purdue senior Grant Chapman. "How did something so tragic happen to someone so not deserving of this? Andrew was the one to go out of his way to help someone."

Boldt found fast times and fast friends on the track in Purdue's Electric Vehicle Club and the electric- and gas-powered Grand Prix.

"Andrew had a big team to manage," said Chapman, who says Boldt was drawn to it by the rapid pace of technological innovation. "I think he liked the newness of it."

But friends say the electrical engineering whiz was a whiz at something else, too.

"He was a great leader," said Chapman. "He was the rare kind of engineer. The one who still had people skills."

Chapman and IUPUI's Drew Westrick formed EVC Racing. Starting in a basement, their electric vehicles business is growing. Chapman knows what drives other engineers like Boldt and saw what drove Boldt in his teaching assistant role at Purdue.

"He was always wanting to help you with homework. You had any question in class, he was always wanting to extend a hand and not just show you the answer but how he got it. 'This is how you learn it'," Chapman said.

When Chapman learned about Tuesday's shooting in the building where he has spent so much time, "the news hit social media that it was a TA in electrical engineering. I instantly texted all of my friends who are TAs. No response back (from Andrew.) Started posting on his Facebook - 'Hey, are you there?'"

Now, he thinks about Andrew's legacy.

"Truly learn something that's exciting. Something that will motivate them to go get the job they want. And love what they do so they never work a day in their life. That's what Andrew's goal always was," he said.