One person was killed inside a Purdue University classroom Tuesday by a gunman who surrendered to a police officer within minutes of the attack, officials announced this afternoon.
Purdue Police Chief John Cox said the man appeared to have targeted a male victim about noon in a basement classroom of the Indiana campus’ Electrical Engineering Building. Cox said the gunman didn't attack anyone else. "The individual entered the facility and took the actions that he took, and then immediately left the facility without any other interaction that we're aware of," Cox said.
The suspect gave himself up to a West Lafayette police officer, but Cox and Purdue Provost Tim Sands told reporters they had not yet identified either the suspected gunman or the victim. Cox said the man arrested wasn't immediately cooperating with investigators.
Julissa Martinez, a freshman nursing student, said she was in psychology class on another part of campus when she received a text message saying the university was on lockdown. She said her professor briefly kept teaching, but stopped so students could contact loved ones: “He tried to get everything under control because people were freaking out.”
Under Purdue’s Twitter trend for alerts, #PurdueShooting, photos showed students appearing to hide under equipment in engineering labs. Lafayette Journal and Courier photographer Mike Heinz said police and a bomb squad were investigating a home near campus. One student tweeted the victim was a teacher’s assistant, claiming to have heard from an eyewitness. But police haven’t addressed the rumor and no others are circulating.
Purdue officials said the campus’ text alert system functioned properly, warning students to seek shelter shortly after the shooting occurred. Within two hours, the university determined the danger had passed and reopened all buildings except for the engineering facility. It wasn’t until 4:15 p.m. that university officials cancelled classes through Wednesday and announced they would provide counseling for students.