Purdue University Student Arrested for Allegedly Killing of Roommate Found Dead in Their Dorm: Police

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Ji Min Sha was arrested after calling 911 to report the death of his roommate.

A Purdue University student was arrested Wednesday after allegedly killing his roommate in a residence hall on the Indiana school's campus, officials said.

Ji Min “Jimmy” Sha, a 22-year-old junior cybersecurity major and international student from Korea, was taken into custody on a murder charge after calling 911 around 12:45 a.m., alerting police to the death of his roommate, Purdue University Police Chief Lesley Wiete told reporters during a news conference Wednesday.

Varun Manish Chheda, a 20-year-old senior from Indianapolis who was studying data science, reportedly died of "multiple sharp force traumatic injuries" after an incident allegedly involving Sha unfolded in a room on the first floor of McCutcheon Hall, local outlet ABC 7 reported. The manner of his death was ruled a homicide, preliminary autopsy results showed, according to published reports.

Wiete told WTHR that both students were awake at the time of the incident, and that she believes the killing was unprovoked and senseless.

Purdue University President Mitch Daniels sent a statement to students and staff Wednesday morning. "This is as tragic an event as we can imagine happening on our campus and our hearts and thoughts go out to all of those affected by this terrible event," the statement read.

As police investigated the incident, nearby students in McCutcheon Hall were moved to another area, and classes also continued as scheduled Wednesday, according to the WTHR.

A university spokesperson told the outlet that Purdue's CAPS (Counseling and Psychological Services) department has clinicians available for walk-ins and will provide crisis support for students who need it. 

Dennis Bisgaard, interim head of school at Park Tudor, of which Chheda was an alumnus, issued a statement saying, “The entire Park Tudor community is incredibly saddened by the tragic loss of Varun Chheda, Park Tudor class of 2020. Our prayers are with his family at this difficult time.”

No further information about a possible motive was available. The investigation into Chheda's killing is ongoing.

Sha is being held on a preliminarily charge of murder without bond in Tippecanoe County Jail, according to authorities and booking records. No bond has been set for him, records showed.

University police were seen escorting Sha out of a patrol vehicle while handcuffed as reporters were waiting for him Wednesday, video posted online by WISH-TV showed. As he was taken inside a building, a reporter asked Sha, "Can you tell us why you did it?"

Sha pauses a few seconds, and then appeared to twice say, "I love my family." 

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