Purdue University says 1 dead in campus shooting

Purdue University says 1 dead in campus shooting

Police parked outside the Electrical Engineering Building on the campus of Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind., Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014 where one person was killed inside a classroom by a gunman who surrendered to a police officer within minutes of the attack, officials said. Photo: Associated Press/Michael Conroy

(Reuters) – One person was shot to death on the campus of Indiana’s Purdue University on Tuesday, and a male suspect was in custody, authorities said.

The shooting took place around noon local time in a basement classroom of the university’s electrical engineering building. The shooter seemed to have had only the victim as his intended target, leaving the building immediately after the shooting, said Purdue University Police Chief John Cox.

See eyewitness photos from the scene

“It’s just a tragic situation,” Cox said, adding that the shooter was taken into custody without a struggle.

The police, however, did not identify either the victim or the shooter.

University officials said classes had resumed and the campus was considered safe, though the electrical engineering building remained closed.

Upon hearing of the shooting, campus officials immediately ordered students, faculty and staff across campus to take shelter as police searched the area.

School officials said they were make counseling available for students.

Indiana Governor Mike Pence called the shooting a “tragedy.”

“Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family of the victim and to everyone in the Purdue community,” Pence said in a statement, pledging state law enforcement assistance in the investigation.

The frequency of shootings at schools and universities in the United States is fueling the national debate over gun control. On Monday night, a student was shot and critically wounded outside an athletic center at Widener University in Chester, Pennsylvania, near Philadelphia.

Last week alone, two students were shot at a high school in Philadelphia, another was shot at a high school in Albany, Georgia, and two students were shot at a middle school in New Mexico.

Gun ownership laws in the United States have come under intense scrutiny since December 2012, when 20 young children and six educators were shot dead by a long gunman at Sandy Hook elementary school in Connecticut.

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