Teaching assistant shot and killed in Purdue University classroom

Jan 21, 2014 12:34 PM

NBC News

A teaching assistant was killed Tuesday and a fellow student was in custody after a shooting on the campus of Purdue University in Indiana, police and campus authorities said.

The shooting in the electrical engineering department building was reported to campus police about noon ET, and a text alert immediately went out urging students and staff to shelter in place, said Liz Evans, a spokeswoman for the college in West Lafayette.

Cody M. Cousins, 23, of Centerville, Ohio, and Warsaw, Ind., was held in the Tippecanoe County Jail without bond on suspicion of homicide in the death of Andrew F. Boldt, 21, of West Bend, Wis., campus Police Chief John Cox said. He said he couldn't comment on a possible motive.

Campus and city police served a search warrant on a West Lafayette home about 5 p.m. in connection with shooting, authorities said. They wouldn't discuss the search.

The electrical engineering building, in the northeast part of the campus, remained locked down, but the rest of the university was reopened Tuesday afternoon, campus police said, noting that there was no further threat.

The university suspended classes through Wednesday and scheduled a candlelight vigil for 8 p.m. Tuesday.

Cousins surrendered within minutes outside the building by West Lafayette police, Cox said. Cox said shooter appeared to have singled out his victim, targeting no one else.

"The suspect sought out the victim, then killed the victims and then surrendered," he said.

Kirk Choquette, a sophomore from Boston, told the Lafayette Journal & Courier newspaper that he was in the restroom when he heard gunshots the he described as "Ge-dang! Ge-dang! Ge-dang! all through the building."

"I ran back to class, which is the big lecture hall, E-129, started sitting down, saying, 'OK, this is a joke — whatever," Choquette said. "And then a cop came running in yelling: 'Get out! Get out! Get out of the building!'"

Campus officials said counseling would be offered for students and staff.

"It's devastating, obviously, to hear this report on a college campus," Evans told NBC station WTHR of Indianapolis. "As a parent myself, I can only imagine. But at this point, the fact the rest of the campus is open should give people some relief."


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