Friends heard screams throughout the game as Varun Manish Chheda was killed

Friends of the Purdue University student who was allegedly killed by his roommate said they had been playing with the 20-year-old victim when they suddenly heard him scream.

Varun Manish Chheda, 20, was discovered dead in his room at McCutcheon Hall in West Lafayette after the suspect, Ji Min “Jimmy” Sha, 22, called 911 to report the killing early Wednesday, campus police said.

Indiana police described the crime as an “unprovoked and senseless” murder.

University police have confirmed to WTHR that Chheda was playing online with friends the night he died.

One of the friends, Andrew Wu, told the news outlet that he had been participating in a game with Chheda when he heard screaming through the gaming platform.

Another friend, Arunabh Sinha, told NBC News that Chheda had been playing and chatting online through Discord late Tuesday when they also suddenly heard the scream on the call.

Sinha, who did not participate in the game session, was told by others that they heard the shocking attack and had no idea what was going on, according to NBC News.

Varun Manish Chheda
Friends of Purdue University student Varun Manish Chheda recalled playing video games with him before he was murdered.
Courtesy of the Chheda family
Police confirmed that suspect Ji Min
Police confirmed that suspect Ji Min “Jimmy” Sha was not playing video games before he allegedly murdered Varun Manish Chheda.
/Tippecanoe County Jail
Varun Manish Chheda's friend Andrew Wu claimed he heard screams while playing video games with him.
Varun Manish Chheda’s friend Andrew Wu claimed he heard screams while playing video games with him.
Facebook / Sycamore School Alumni
Purdue University student Varun Manish Chheda was 20 years old.
Purdue University student Varun Manish Chheda was 20 years old.
Courtesy of the Chheda family

Campus Police Detective Lt. Matt Rosenbarger told WTHR that Sha, a junior from South Korea majoring in cybersecurity, was not online or playing with friends.

Police Chief Lesley Weite said during a press briefing that Sha was quickly taken into custody on a charge of murder.

Chheda, a senior data science major, died of “multiple blunt force traumatic injuries” and the manner of death was a homicide, according to preliminary autopsy results reported by NBC.

Purdue University students leave notes and flowers at Varun Manish Chheda's vigil on October 5, 2022.
Purdue University students leave notes and flowers at Varun Manish Chheda’s vigil on October 5, 2022.
Alex Martin/Journal & Courier via AP
Police arrested suspect Ji Min
Police arrested suspect Ji Min “Jimmy” Sha, who was Varun Manish Chheda’s roommate.
Fox 59

Sha appeared to mutter “I love my family” as authorities took him into custody Wednesday.

Meanwhile, several students at the residence hall where Chheda was killed said they had no idea about the killing there until hours later – and learned about it mainly from the media.

“When I saw the email [from school President Mitch Daniels] it didn’t even mention which residence it happened at,” graduate Kolitha Perera told NBC News. “I had to Google it to find out what happened and I was shocked that it was in our building. We got most of our information from the news like everyone else.”

Students react during a vigil for Varun Manish Chheda at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana on October 5, 2022.
Students react during a vigil for Varun Manish Chheda at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana on October 5, 2022.
Alex Martin/Journal & Courier via AP
Purdue University Police Chief Lesley Wiete addresses the media after Varun Manish Chheda's murder on October 5, 2022.
Purdue University Police Chief Lesley Wiete addresses the media after Varun Manish Chheda’s murder on October 5, 2022.
Alex Martin/Journal & Courier via AP

He added: “I feel like this is something so big and that it didn’t come out until hours after – it was disturbing.”

In the email a student said he received nearly six hours after the killing was reported, the school president briefly described the incident, cited the importance of campus safety and said counseling services were available.

When asked why the school didn’t alert the students in McCutcheon Hall earlier, spokesman Tim Doty told the network that Sha, who called 911 around 12:45 p.m., was arrested minutes later.

Suspected Ji Min
Suspect Ji Min “Jimmy” Sha allegedly murdered Varun Manish Chheda inside his dormitory in McCutcheon Hall at Purdue University.
Noe Padilla/Journal and Courier
WEST LAFAYETTE, I - OCTOBER 20: General view of the Purdue Boilermakers campus on October 20, 2018 in West Lafayette, Indiana.
Students at Purdue University blasted the school for not issuing an alert hours after Varun Manish Chheda’s murder.
Michael Hickey/Getty Images
Students leave notes about 'Unfinished P' during a vigil for Varun Manish Chheda, Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022, at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind.
Students at Purdue University have raised safety concerns following the murder of Varun Manish Chheda.
Alex Martin/Journal & Courier via AP

Citing a federal law, Doty said there was no threat to the campus.

“No timely warning was issued,” he told NBC News.

Another freshman, Parth Thakre, criticized the school for not warning students earlier.

“I know there is a procedure. I can see why they kind of delayed because they got the man. But they should have given us more information,” Thakre told the magazine.

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