Rave Alert Keeps Purdue Community Safe & Informed after Fatal Shooting
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 Rave Alert text notification instructing people to shelter in place shortly after the shooting.
“When the [Rave Alert] text message 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 have a solid emergency response strategy that will keep us safe and informed when we need it most. I can rest easy now knowing they’ve got things under control,” she said.
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.