Purdue students return to class seeking answers

Crime tape stayed up at the Electrical Engineering Building until Wednesday afternoon.
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With classes canceled for another day, Purdue University students are struggling to get back to normal after a fatal shooting in a campus lecture hall Tuesday.

Some students who heard the shooting are questioning the university's response.

"We heard what sounded like a door slamming, or like books being pushed off the desk," said freshman Jacob Bush.

Bush was in a lecture hall just feet from where the shooting happened. Police entered the room and told the class of 300 to immediately evacuate.

"I started heading to my next class before I got the text for everybody to get inside," he said.

He and others got inside, but there was confusion, even some professors were unclear about what to do.

"Our class just continued. Teacher just kept giving us notes and I couldn't really pay attention, because I was honestly a little scared about the situation," said junior Eric Myers.

Myers says class eventually let out, but he says it was still unclear to him what he was supposed to do.

"I heard a couple of my friends actually had to go under their desk or sit on the wall or something like that, but it didn't happen in our class," he said.

Purdue President Mitch Daniels, who cut short an official trip to Colombia and arrived in West Lafayette Wednesday afternoon, said instructors should have known protocol.

"Obviously, some are going to handle it better on an individual level than others. And if some didn't, they should have known better and maybe publicizing their bad judgement will help somebody handle it better next time...God forbid there's a next time," Daniels said.

Twenty-four hours after the shooting, the crime scene tape came down at the Electrical Engineering Building. The building reopened and students and faculty who fled their classrooms yesterday returned and retrieved their personal belongings.

"It wasn't just an individual attacked, it was our security that was attacked. It could have been any one of us, that is the real point," said student John Pourchu.

It seems as if everyone wants to know why.

"I certainly never imagined he would go out and do this," said Andrew Matyasovski, a neighbor of Cody Cousins.

Cousins, 23, is accused of shooting and killing teaching assistant Andrew Boldt as other students watched in horror around noon Tuesday. Cousins walked from the building and surrendered to police.

Although he was by no means close with Cousins, Matyasovski says, "to imagine he would just go out and walk into a roomful of people and kill one of my peers...it's unbelievable."

Investigators aren't discussing - or don't have - a motive for the crime. Boldt was an Eagle Scout, a senior and, by all accounts, an excellent student.

It appears as if Cousins was an honor student and had never been in trouble more serious than public intoxication and a speeding ticket.

Counselors are helping scores of students, most of whom were close to the violence. They expect to see more students in the coming weeks.