Indiana Daily Student

Purdue student allegedly killed in dorm room; roommate preliminarily charged with murder 

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Editor’s Note: This story includes mention of potentially triggering situations, such as homicide.  

A 20-year-old Purdue student was reportedly killed Wednesday morning, and his roommate is in police custody after being identified as a suspect. 

The victim, Varun Manish Chheda, died from multiple sharp-force injuries, according to the Tippecanoe County Coroner's Office. He was found in his dorm room on the university’s campus in McCutcheon Hall, Purdue Police Chief Lesley Wiete said in a press conference.  

Chheda was originally from Indianapolis and was a senior studying data science, according to the Purdue Exponent.  

Chheda was 10 days away from his 21st birthday, according to the IndyStar. He attended Park Tudor for high school, located on the north side of Indianapolis. He was also a candidate for the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program. 

His roommate, 22-year-old international student Ji Min Sha, was preliminarily charged with murder, Wiete said. Sha graduated in 2019 from Lighthouse Christian Academy, located in Bloomington, according to WTHR. Police have yet to identify any motive.  

“This was unprovoked and senseless,” Wiete said during the press conference.  

Sha called 911 to report the incident, according to Purdue President Mitch Daniels’ statement.  

Eight students were removed from the building while the investigation took place, according to the Purdue Exponent.  

Arunabh Sinha, an IU student and one of Chheda's childhood friends, said Chheda was on a Discord call and playing video games when he was reportedly killed Tuesday night, according to the Purdue Exponent. Those on the call and playing video games with both Chheda and Sha reportedly heard screams moments after Sha lost a game and left the call.  

The case is still an active investigation. 

CORRECTION: A previous version of this article misspelled the name of the victim.

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