A Purdue University engineering student has opened fire inside a basement classroom, killing a teaching assistant and prompting officials to put the campus on lockdown.
Cody Cousins, who is believed to have targeted Andrew Boldt inside the Electrical Engineering Building, surrendered to a police officer within minutes of the attack on Tuesday, Purdue Police Chief John Cox said.
Investigators were trying to determine a motive for the shooting, which happened about noon on the campus in West Lafayette, about 100 kilometres northwest of Indianapolis. No one else was hurt.
"This appears to be an isolated and intentional act," Cox said.
Boldt, a 21-year-old senior and teaching assistant from West Bend, Wisconsin, died at the scene. Cousins, 23, is being held on a preliminary charge of murder.
Students described a chaotic scene on the campus. Sophomore Nick Wieland told the Journal & Courier that he was in a basement classroom adjacent to the one where the shooting occurred.
"I heard a couple (shots) and then I heard a man scream," Wieland said. "Then the last few kind of trailed off as I got under my desk. . (I was) just very scared. That's what I felt the entire time."
Julissa Martinez, a freshman in nursing, told The Associated Press that she was in a psychology class on another part of the campus when she received the text alert from university officials telling students to seek shelter.
She said her professor briefly kept teaching, then stopped lecturing so that students could contact people to let them know they were safe.
Cousins was taken into custody outside the engineering building within minutes of the shooting.
At about 1.15 pm, the university texted students a message telling them there was no ongoing threat on campus and that normal operations would resume in all buildings except the engineering facility.
But the university later announced that classes were being suspended until Wednesday.
Family members of Boldt could not be reached for comment on Tuesday night. Relatives of Cousins also could not be reached.