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One day after 20-year-old Varun Manish Chheda of Indianapolis was found stabbed to death in his dorm room, hundreds of Purdue University students gathered for a vigil in his honor.

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The senior was majoring in data science when he was found dead in his room at McCutcheon Hall. His roommate, 22-year-old Gji Min Sha, called 911 to report the incident at 12:44 a.m. local time before being arrested shortly and charged with murder.

“I believe this was unprovoked and senseless,” Purdue University Chief of Police Lesley Weite said during a news conference on Wednesday (October 5).

Purdue University President Mitch Daniels addressed the killing in a letter to the community sent early Wednesday.

“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,” Daniels wrote.

The letter continues, “… I assure you that the safety and security of our students is the single highest priority on our campus. Purdue is an extraordinarily safe place on any given day, and compared with cities of Purdue’s population (approximately 60,000 in all), we experience a tiny fraction of violent and property crime that occurs elsewhere.

“Such statistics are of no consolation on a day like this. A death on our campus and among our Purdue family affects each of us deeply.”