1 dead, another in custody after shooting at Purdue University campus

Victim, suspect both identified

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - A man was killed and one person was taken into custody after a shooting at the Purdue University campus around noon Tuesday.

Campus officials said the shooting occurred in the school's Electrical Engineering building on the northeast side of campus. Officials said four to five shots were fired.

The suspect was later identified as 23-year-old Cody Cousins. Police said they believe Cousins knew the victim, identified as 21-year-old Andrew Boldt of Wisconsin.

Police said Boldt was a senior and teaching assistant .

Cousins was booked in the Tippecanoe County Jail on a preliminary charge of murder. He was being held without bond.

Authorities issued a search warrant to search Cousins' residence in the 300 block of West Stadium Avenue. Police said they had previous contact with him while he was a student prior to the shooting.

Purdue University Police Department Chief John Cox said the shooting was not a typical active shooting incident -- the victim was specifically targeted. Authorities did not comment on a motive.

The university sent a text alert instructing people to shelter in place shortly after the shooting. 

"When the text alert first went out, it was chaotic," said Chris Adam, a Purdue employee who used to work at RTV6. "People were crying and upset."

The shelter in place order was lifted about 1:30 p.m., though the Electrical Engineering building stayed closed.

Rachel Casey, a freshman at Purdue and sister of RTV6 traffic reporter Lauren Casey, said she was relieved when the all-clear was issued.

"It just feels good knowing that they've got things under control," she said.

Purdue freshman Nicki Heston said she was in a 300-person lecture hall when everyone heard a commotion outside.

"We heard two or three policemen screaming, 'Get down, get down,'" Heston said. "We went to the door to see what was going on outside."

Initial reports were chaotic in the immediate aftermath of the shooting, with erroneous reports of multiple shooters flooding social media.

Numerous pictures circulated on social media of possible suspects and/or police presence. The veracity of those images could not immediately be confirmed, but authorities said many of the images were of police officers.

Purdue President Mitch Daniels was not on campus and is currently in Colombia, university officials said. He was said to be stunned and saddened.

Gov. Mike Pence issued a statement on the shooting.

"Today’s shooting at Purdue University is a tragedy, and our heartfelt condolences go out to the family of the victim and to everyone in the Purdue community," the statement read. "I commend the professionalism of the West Lafayette Police Department in apprehending the suspect and bringing the situation to a swift conclusion. The Indiana State Police are on the scene and will continue to assist local law enforcement with the ongoing investigation."

The university on Tuesday afternoon canceled classes for the rest of the day and for Wednesday, and an 8 p.m. candlelight vigil was held Tuesday between Hovde Hall and the Engineering Fountain.

Daniels delivered the following statement during the vigil:

"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.'"

The university said students were being offered counseling services.

Watch RTV6 and refresh this page for updates.

Print this article Back to Top