(MCT) – A Purdue University senior from Wisconsin is dead and another student is in custody on suspicion of murder following a shooting on the university campus in West LaFayette, Ind., according to school officials.
The gunman walked into a basement classroom of the Electrical Engineering building around noon while a class was going on, school and law enforcement officials told a news conference. Classes were cancelled for the rest of Tuesday and for Wednesday, officials said.
The victim was identified as Andrew F. Boldt, 21, a senior from West Bend, Wis., who also was a teaching assistant, Purdue University Police Chief John Cox said in a news conference at 6 p.m. Tuesday.
The suspect, who appeared to have targeted Boldt, was identified as Cody M. Cousins, 23, a student in the college of engineering at Purdue, Cox said. He has been booked into the Tippecanoe County Jail on suspicion of murder, according to jail records. Records show Cousins is from Centerville, Ohio and Warsaw, Ind., Cox said.
The attacker did not appear to be randomly targeting students, officials said.
"The suspect came into the building, walked to the classroom, shot the individual and walked out," said school spokesman Greg McClure in an earlier news conference. He then walked outside and surrendered to police.
"This is not your typical active shooter. This appears to be an isolated and intentional act," Cox said in the evening news conference. "We have developed information through several witnesses that the victim appeared to have been targeted by the suspect and it was no more, no less than that."
"The suspect was apprehended on the east side of the Electrical Engineering building just outside the building," McClure said.
He said police believe the shooter was targeting the man he shot and "there was no effort to target anyone else."
"Nobody else was wounded or hit by gunfire, it was just the person who was killed," McClure said.
Police said there was no argument or fight before the shooting.
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Indiana State Police were working with Purdue University Police to process the crime scene, Cox said.
West Lafayette police executed a search warrant at Cousins' home in West Lafayette, a spokesman for the police department said in the news conference. Police have had prior contact with Cousins in an alcohol-related arrest, the spokesman said.
Immediately after the shooting, students were initially told to stay in place until the building was cleared and the area fully searched. Around 12:45 p.m., other campus buildings were opened and the "shelter in place order" was lifted, the school tweeted.
A few minutes later, the school tweeted an all-clear. "No ongoing threat to campus. Resume normal operations. (Electrical Engineering) will remain closed."
Erica Ambrose, a senior in the School of Agriculture, told the school's newspaper that she was in class in the Electrical Engineering building when she "heard shouting downstairs and it sounded like people were running through the hallways, just yelling at each other."
"We heard the sirens and we looked out the window to see they had somebody in handcuffs," Ambrose told the Purdue Exponent. "Then, the fire alarms went on to evacuate so we came outside. When we got out, that's when we got the text to avoid the area.
"We didn't actually hear the gunshot," she said. "We just heard yelling."
Kirk Choquette, a 20-year-old sophomore, said he was walking from the bathroom to his class on the first floor of the engineering building when he heard gunshots.
"Initially I didn't think they were gunshots," he said. "I thought someone was just banging on the wall on the wall ... then I heard cops yell, 'Get down.'"
Shortly after he got to his class, he said, police told students to leave the building.
While standing outside, Choquette said, he and a friend saw a person leave the building with what appeared to be blood on his hands.
Felicia Leibering, 18, said she was sitting in her economics class in the engineering building when she and her classmates heard yelling from the hallway.
"Our teacher was like 'what's going on up there?' and people sort of giggled," she said.
She said the professor asked students to look into the hallway and that minutes later police officers entered the large lecture hall and told everyone to evacuate the building.
"We didn't hear any gunshots, just kind of muffled yelling outside the room," she said. "There were cops everywhere, standing there as we evacuated the building and along the road outside."
Leibering said it wasn't until she was walking to a different building, where her next class was located, that she received a text message from the university notifying students of the shooting.
"I was in shock," she said. "I started picking up the pace to get to the building I was going to."
Cousins was scheduled for a court hearing at 2:30 p.m. local time Wednesday, according to jail records.