One person is dead and one more is in custody after a shooting at Purdue University on Tuesday, officials confirmed to reporters.
University police chief John Cox revealed that a man, carrying a gun, entered a room at the school’s electrical engineering department “with the intention of harming someone,” and later he handed himself to a West Lafayette, Ind., police officer.
Cox and Purdue Provost Timothy Sands confirmed the death toll of the accident that led to an alert to shut down the campus. The alert was lifted about two hours after the shooting.
Cox reported that the suspect appeared to have targeted the victim. The university officials declined to name the suspect or his victim.
“We need to let the investigators do their job so we can make sure everything is done right,” Cox said.
“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,” Gov. Mike Pence said in a statement.
“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 incident happened earlier in the day when someone opened fire at the Electrical Engineering Building on the northeast side of campus in West Lafayette, about 60 miles northwest of Indianapolis.
Kirk Choquette, a 20-year-old student remembers that he was walking from the bathroom when he heard gunshots.
“Initially I didn’t think they were gunshots,” he told the Los Angeles Times. “I thought someone was just banging on the wall on the wall … then I heard cops yell, ‘Get down.’”
Shortly after he got to his class, he said, police evacuated students in the building. “I was in disbelief that a shooting would happen, especially near me,” the student said.
Felicia Leibering, 18, told reporters that she head yellings when she was sitting in her economics class in the engineering building: “Our teacher was like ‘what’s going on up there?’ and people sort of giggled.”
She said the professor ordered students to look into the hallway and soon the police appeared to evacuate everybody from the building.
“We didn’t hear any gunshots, just kind of muffled yelling outside the room,” she said. “There were cops everywhere, standing there as we evacuated the building and along the road outside.”
Leibering also remembered that when she was on her way to a different building she received a text message from the university notifying students of the shooting that occured on its territory.
“I was in shock,” the student said. “I started picking up the pace to get to the building I was going to.”
Meanwhile police are trying to investigate the case and the motives of the gunman’s behavior. They decline to comment on his connections to the victim or the university, but said investigators believe the shooting was a targeted attack.