Man killed, two charged in shooting near Purdue
Cat Andersen/Eyewitness News
West Lafayette - A Purdue student faces a reckless homicide charge in the shooting death of another man near campus Saturday night.
Police say friends of 21-year-old Landon Siela were trying to scare him, aiming their guns at him as he stepped into the room at an apartment on Wiggins Street around 7 pm. One of the weapons discharged, striking Siela in the neck, killing him.
"We recovered two .45 caliber firearms," said West Lafayette Chief of Police Jason Dombkowski.
Investigators say 22-year-old Cory Lynch, a Purdue student from Carmel and 22-year-old William Calderon, a former Purdue student, thought the guns were unloaded and both pulled the trigger.
"One of the firearms ended up being loaded," Dombkowski said.
Police determined Lynch was holding the loaded gun that fired the round that struck Siela. He was arrested for reckless homicide and pointing a loaded gun. Calderon was arrested for false reporting and pointing an unloaded gun.
"It's a charge if you point a gun at someone and it's not justified," Dombkowski said.
Police say the three men were hanging out all day and are certain alcohol played a role.
"I think anytime we have firearms involved and people are drinking, judgments are impaired," Dombkowski said.
Siela was in town visiting from Fort Wayne.
Purdue students moving back to campus for the first day of classes Monday think it's odd that a student would even put a gun on their back to school packing list.
"That's not usually something we bring," said student Kyle Maple.
They say if they did, they would not use it to play a joke.
"That's a horrible, horrible idea. I've always been taught to treat a weapon like it's always loaded, even when you know it's not," student Alex Dehr said. "Even when you go hunting, treat it like it's loaded. Ever since I was little."
Siela was enrolled at Indiana University-Purdue University-Fort Wayne. He was set to start classes there on Monday.