New York, Oct 6 (IANS) Varun Manish Chheda, a 20-year-old Indian-American student at US's Purdue University, was killed in his dorm room by his roommate, who has been arrested on a preliminary murder charge, police said.
Ji Min Sha, a 22-year-old junior cybersecurity major from Seoul, South Korea, has been held as the prime suspect in the case, Purdue Police Chief Lesley Wiete said.
Wiete called the crime "unprovoked and senseless".
Chheda died of "multiple sharp force traumatic injuries" and the manner of death was a homicide, according to preliminary autopsy results, an NBC report said.
A university spokesperson told the media that a 911 call came into the Purdue University Police Department at 12:44 a.m. on Wednesday from McCutcheon Hall on the western edge of the campus. The call was made by Sha himself.
Purdue University President Mitch Daniels said in a statement that the Purdue University Police Department is conducting a thorough investigation into the incident.
"This is as tragic an event as we can imagine happening on our campus and our hearts and thoughts go out to all of those affected by this terrible event... I assure you that the safety and security of our students is the single highest priority on our campus," Daniels added in his statement.
This was Purdue's first on-campus homicide since January 2014, according to the University.
As students gathered at Purdue University campus in the US to hold a candlelight vigil in the memory of slain Indian American student Varun Manish Chheda, his friends, shocked and shattered, remembered him as a "good and humble person".
Sumeeth Guda, a mathematics and science student, who worked with Chheda on group projects, described him as a hardworking and diligent person, the Purdue Exponent reported.
Arunabh Sinha, who went to school with Chheda for 12 years, remembered him as smart and humble. "A really smart guy, always top of his class, top of the chess club, science bowl team. He was really humble about it," Sinha told NBC News.
Chheda was just 10 days away from his 21st birthday, the Indianapolis Star reported.
He graduated from Park Tudor High School in 2020 and was a semifinalist in the National Merit Scholarship Programme the year he graduated.
"The entire Park Tudor community is incredibly saddened by the tragic loss of Varun Chheda, Park Tudor class of 2020. Our prayers are with his family at this difficult time," Dennis Bisgaard, the interim head of Park Tudor, told Fox News Digital in a statement.
The Purdue University website said that it is currently home to 2,300 Indian students-793 undergraduates and 1,507 graduate and professional program students.
About 50,000 undergraduate and graduate students are enrolled for the fall semester, according to the university website.
Photo courtesy of Facebook (@Sycamore School Alumni)