Purdue University shooting: One dead, another in custody

Andrew Boldt
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Updated: .

A 21-year-old student was killed in a shooting on the Purdue University campus Tuesday afternoon.

Andrew Boldt, a teaching assistant from West Bend, Wisconsin, died in the shooting, which occurred just after noon inside the Electrical Engineering building.

"This news is unimaginable," said Jeff Monday, principal at Marquette University High School in Milwaukee, where Boldt graduated in 2010. "Our hearts, our prayers pour out to the Boldt family. A faith-filled family, a family that relies on their faith and are sure to get through these terribly difficult times."

A 23-year-old man identified as Cody Cousins was arrested in connection with the shooting. He was booked into the Tippecanoe County Jail Tuesday evening on a murder charge.

Police have not yet determined a motive for the shooting, but they believe Cousins targeted Boldt specifically. 

"This doesn't appear to be what you would typically have as an active shooter on a campus. This individual seemed to have intentions for the decedent and took the action the individual took, and then turned around and left the building and was taken into custody outside the Electrical Engineering moments after the act," said Purdue Police Chief John Cox.

Police say Cousins did not make any statement when he was arrested. Without knowing if anyone else was involved in the shooting, police proceeded to search other buildings on campus while everyone remained on lockdown.

Police also searched Cousins' home on West Stadium Ave. Tuesday. At an evening news conference, police said Cousins was known to West Lafayette Police after an alcohol offense when he was a student at Purdue.

The initial report came in for four to five shots fired inside the Electrical Engineering building. About 20 to 25 police officers arrived on the scene of the shooting "within minutes," according to law enforcement. As of 1:30 pm, all buildings were clear on the Purdue University campus except the Electrical Engineering Building where the shooting took place.

The Purdue Exponent reports that the incident occurred during a lab session taught by Prof. David Meyer for a "micro-processor and system design" class.

"I heard some yelling outside my classroom. It was pretty weird. And all of the sudden I hear someone just break through the door, but that was a cop, luckily. He just told everyone to evacuate," said student Eric Chu.

Students' smartphones and computers lit up with university alerts, warning them to shelter in place while police swarmed the building.

"We just heard people screaming and I heard someone say, 'get down, get on the floor!' and a lot of cussing," said Sudev Chaluvadi, student.

Provost Tim Sands says he has been in touch with Purdue President Mitch Daniels, who is currently in Colombia. Daniels will return to campus Wednesday.

Daniels issued the following statement Tuesday evening:

"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.

"Our prayers tonight are with Andrew and with his parents, who have suffered a loss beyond calculation or consolation. In our grief, we pause to thank this event's organizers, but equally each person in attendance. Through your caring witness, you are demonstrating your love for the Boldts, and for each other in the very special community we call 'Boilermakers.'"

Governor Mike Pence issued the following statement:

"Today's shooting at Purdue University is a tragedy, and our heartfelt condolences go out to the family of the victim and to everyone in the Purdue community. I commend the professionalism of the Purdue University Police Department in apprehending the suspect and bringing the situation to a swift conclusion. The Indiana State Police are on the scene and will continue to assist local law enforcement with the ongoing investigation."

Statement from President Maggie A. Lewis, Indianapolis City-County Council:

"Today, the State of Indiana and Purdue University were added to our nation's growing list of those who have had senseless gun violence on college campuses. My thoughts and prayers are with the entire Purdue University family and I send my sincere condolences to the family of the victim. As an adjunct faculty member at a local university myself, I know that campus is a place of trust and open discussion - it is heartbreaking to see that compromised for our state's students. I encourage all of Indiana to keep the students, faculty, administration, staff and alumni of Purdue in our hearts as they begin the process of recovery from this senseless act."

Statement from Mark Land, Indiana University Associate Vice President; Public Affairs and Government Relations; Adjunct Lecturer - School of Journalism:

"The entire Indiana University community extends its deepest sympathies to our friends and colleagues at Purdue during this very difficult time. This type of pointless violence has no place on our college campuses, and we share Purdue's profound sense of loss as result of this tragic act."

See Purdue's website for updates.

Update from Purdue:

Classes are suspended through Wednesday (Jan. 22), and students are being offered counseling services in the wake of a fatal shooting Tuesday at Purdue University.

A candlelight vigil is scheduled for 8 p.m. Tuesday (Jan. 21) between Hovde Hall and the Engineering Fountain.

Counselors will be available to talk with students, faculty and staff from 9-10:30 p.m. Tuesday (Jan 21). They will be in the resident assistants' resource room in the south towers of Cary Quadrangle, the Tarkington West activity room, Shreve Hall Jade Room, and Purdue Village community center.

Counseling also is available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday through the Dean of Students Office, 207 Schleman Hall, phone 765-494-1747, and through Purdue Student Health Center's counseling and psychological services. The health center also has an after-hours number available from 5-8 p.m., 765-494-1724.