WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (Jan. 21,2014)– A Purdue University student faces a preliminary murder charge in connection with a fatal shooting that occurred on campus around noon Tuesday (Jan. 21).
Cody M. Cousins, 23, of Warsaw, Ind., was taken into custody immediately following the shooting, which took place in the basement area of the Electrical Engineering Building. He was taken to the Tippecanoe County Jail, where he is currently being held.
Cousins was originally thought to be due in court Wednesday. His hearing has been pushed back to Thursday, according to the Tippecanoe County Prosecutor’s Office. He’s accused of fatally shooting Andrew F. Boldt, 21, of West Bend, Wis. Both were listed as seniors in the College of Engineering.
“This was not a typical active shooting,” said Purdue police chief John Cox. “It appears to be an isolated and intentional act and not a random shooting.”
Cox said Cousins allegedly fired four or five shots, and then left the building. He surrendered to police just outside the east side of the Electrical Engineering Building. While Cousins was in custody within minutes, an order for the campus community to remain sheltered in place stayed in effect until about 1:15 p.m.
Tim Sands, Purdue’s provost, said the decision was made to cancel classes for the remainder of Tuesday and Wednesday after he consulted with university President Mitch Daniels, who was in Colombia on a university-related trip. Daniels was making arrangements to cut short the trip and return to West Lafayette immediately.
“He (Daniels) is of course stunned and saddened as we all are by this crime,” Sands said.
Sands also said that an 8 p.m. candlelight vigil scheduled for Tuesday (Jan. 21) would “be the beginning of the healing process, but it will take a while.”
Cox said emergency personnel arrived on the scene within minutes and secured the building. Officers from the Lafayette and West Lafayette police departments and Tippecanoe County Sheriff’s Department also responded. Other responders included the West Lafayette and Purdue fire departments and the Tippecanoe County Emergency Ambulance Service.
Cox said the Electrical Engineering Building remains closed as officers, including investigators from the Indiana State Police, aid in assessing the crime scene. The West Lafayette Police Department also executed a search warrant at Cousins’ off-campus apartment in the 300 block of W. Stadium Ave.
The shooting, which was initially reported at 12:03 p.m., triggered the university’s alert system. That system is composed of multiple layers that include text messages, outdoor sirens, mass email and the university’s website.
Counselors will be available to talk with students, faculty and staff from 9-10:30 p.m. Tuesday. They will be located 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 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.
Statement from Purdue University president Mitch Daniels:
“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.'”
UPDATE (4:54 p.m.)– West Lafayette Police confirm they are working with Purdue University Police in serving a search warrant in the 300 block of West Stadium in connection with shooting. FOX 59 viewer Aaron Morris, who lives across the street, sent the following photos of the raid:
UPDATE (4:16 p.m.)– Purdue University suspends classes through Wednesday, Jan. 22. Students being offered counseling services in wake of fatal shooting. A candlelight vigil is scheduled for 8 p.m. Tuesday (Jan. 21) between Hovde Hall and the Engineering Fountain.
UPDATE (2:40 p.m.)—Officials confirm a male victim was fatally shot. They said one man was taken into custody in connection with the shooting on campus. No identities are being released at this time. Officials do not believe it was a random act. Police said the shooting occurred in the basement of the electrical engineering building and was reported around 12:30 p.m. The suspect was arrested outside the electrical engineering building just minutes after officers arrived to the scene, said police.
UPDATE (2:04 p.m.)– Purdue University officials will hold a press conference regarding the shooting at 2:30 p.m.
UPDATE (1:41 p.m.)—Purdue University urges everyone in the electrical engineering building to remain in shelter but other areas of campus can resume as normal.
UPDATE (1:28 p.m.)– Purdue University reminds everyone to remain sheltered until further notice. Students stay active on Twitter and other social media, providing updates on the situation. Check some of them out here.
UPDATE (12:43 p.m.)– Purdue University police say they have one person in custody. It is unclear if that person was the alleged shooter.
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (12:26 p.m.)— Purdue University officials have received a report of a shooting on campus and have asked students and school personnel to seek shelter.
The university sent a tweet just after noon, alerting followers of the reported shooting near the electrical engineering building.
FOX 59 News will update the story as more information becomes available.