HomeCampusPurdue student arrested for alleged murder of roommate
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Purdue student arrested for alleged murder of roommate

On Wednesday, an international student from South Korea was arrested for the alleged murder of his roommate on Purdue University campus, according to NBC News.

The victim, 20-year-old Varun Manish Chheda, was a senior data science major from Indianapolis. A preliminary autopsy found that he died of “multiple sharp force traumatic injuries,” and the manner of death was classified as a homicide.

Ji Min “Jimmy” Sha, the alleged perpetrator, called 911 at 12:45 a.m. on Wednesday and was taken into custody soon after the call. Purdue University Police Chief Lesley Wiete said that the call came from the room Chheda was found in, and Chheda and Sha were the only two people in the room at that time.

“I believe this was unprovoked and senseless,” she said, according to NBC News.

One of Chheda’s childhood friends, Arunabh Sinha, told NBC News that Chheda had been on a Discord call with friends on Tuesday night when they suddenly heard screaming. Though Sinha hadn’t been on the call, friends who had been on the call told him they weren’t aware of what was happening and only learned of Chheda’s death the following day.

University President Mitch Daniels released a statement Wednesday morning notifying the community of the incident, which he said was “as tragic an event as we can imagine happening on our campus.” After outlining resources for members of the community in need of support, Daniels emphasized the safety of the students on campus.

“Purdue is an extraordinarily safe place on any given day, and compared with cities of Purdue’s population (approximately 60,000 in all), we experience a tiny fraction of violent and property crime that occurs elsewhere,” he wrote. “Such statistics are of no consolation on a day like this. A death on our campus and among our Purdue family affects each of us deeply.”

Sinha told NBC News that Chheda was “a positive influence” who was “really smart enough to where he would make a massive impact, just with his brain, in the future.”

Andrew Wu, a friend of Chheda’s from middle and high school, similarly described Chheda as so intelligent, “he could have done anything.” Wu and Chheda would also often spend time playing video games together, staying in touch through college. 

“I haven’t met someone who’s so kind like he is,” Wu told NBC News. “He always notices when someone’s uncomfortable. He’s always willing to compromise. He’ll always sacrifice himself to help other people.”

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