‘I’m very sorry’ – murder suspect Ji Min Sha addressing his victim’s family
Purdue student, 22, accused of killing his roommate says he was being ‘blackmailed’ as he apologizes to victim’s family on way into court
20-year-old Purdue University junior Varun Manish Chheda was playing video games with friends who heard his chilling screams as he was murdered through their gamer headsets earlier this week
Responding officers found Chhedda suffered multiple sharp force injuries to his body inside his dorm room at McCutcheon Hall.
His roommate, Ji Min Sha, was arrested shortly after.t
Ji Min Sha, a student from South Korea, was arrested by police as a person of interest in the murder of Varun Manish Chheda after he called police early Wednesday morning
Sha admitted to the killing and said the knife used in the murder of Chhedda belonged to him, according to a police affidavit.
The alleged killer told reporters that he had been ‘blackmailed’ and was ‘very sorry’ about Chedda’s death
Prosecutors were given three days to file formal murder charges
Sha is due back in court on Thursday – he is currently being held without bail
The college student suspected of killing his roommate last week inside a Purdue University dorm room said Friday that he had been ‘blackmailed.’
Before his first court appearance following the murder, Ji Min ‘Jimmy’ Sha, 22, told reporters he ‘was blackmailed’ and is ‘very sorry’ following the death of his roommate Varun Manish Chhedda after midnight on October 5.
20-year-old Purdue University junior Varun Manish Chheda was playing video games with friends who heard his chilling screams as he was murdered through their gamer headsets earlier this week.
Chheda suffered multiple sharp force injuries to his body inside his dorm room at McCutcheon Hall.
His roommate, Ji Min Sha, was arrested shortly after.
After he called police to report the incident, Ji Min Sha admitted to the killing and said the knife used to stab Chhedda to death belonged to him, according to a police affidavit.
According to police record, the victim was found seated in a chair, covered in blood. He had suffered multiple puncture wounds.
Although Sha, a South Korean student studying cybersecurity confessed to responding officers that he killed his room mate, he has not been formally charged with the murder. Magistrate Judge Sarah Wyatt afforded prosecutors three more days to formally file murder charges against the student, who is being held without bond.
Sha’s next court appearance is scheduled for Thursday, October 13.
Some students said they heard Chheda’s distant screams Tuesday night throughout the building, but fellow student Andrew Wu heard him echo in his ear, he told 13News.
Arunabh Sinha, a childhood friend of Chheda, further confirmed to NBC News that Chheda was gaming with his friends and chatting through Discord when Sha allegedly stabbed him to death.
Sinha said his friends heard Chheda yell but didn’t know what the source of the commotion was until they woke up to the news about his death..
‘Losing a friend like Varun hurts hard,’ Sinha wrote on Facebook. He described Chheda as brilliant, humble, ethical and family-driven.
‘He was destined to make a large impact in our world and while we have been robbed of this opportunity, I am still highly appreciative to have known him since 1st grade. Rest in peace, Varun. We will miss you dearly.’
Suspected killer Sha had not been gaming with the group prior to the alleged murder.
Chheda was a senior in data science at Purdue University and was only 10 days away from turning 21 at the time of his death. Childhood friend Arunabh Sinha, described the gamer as brilliant, humble, ethical and family-driven.
Purdue University Police Department Chief Lesley Wiete said she believes the murder was ‘unprovoked and senseless.’
Residents at the hall said they were woken in the middle of the night by a ‘scream or some loud noises.’
Sha was an international student from South Korea studying cybersecurity. He was arrested after he called campus police to report Chheda’s death at 12.44am on Wednesday, Tim Doty, Purdue’s director of media and public relations, told the Indianapolis Star.
Footage showed Sha being escorted by police into Tippecanoe County Jail, wearing a face mask with his hand secured behind his pack.
‘I love my family,’ Sha told reporters when asked why he committed the cruel act.
Chheda was a senior studying data science at Purdue University and was only 10 days away from turning 21 when he died.
Childhood friend Wu said Chheda’s death was ‘totally out the blue.’
‘He doesn’t talk about his roommate ever,’ Wu told NBC News while explaining his friend wasn’t the type to begin conflict.
‘His roommate never comes up when we’re playing games.’
Wu recalled his best memories with Chheda and remembered him as being unique and selfless.
‘We played games together all the time, video games, card games, you name it. Even hundreds of miles away, for the past four years in college we still kept in touch. We’d hang out six to seven times a week just to play games together,’ Wu said.
‘I haven’t met someone who’s so kind like he is. He always notices when someone’s uncomfortable. He’s always willing to compromise. He’ll always sacrifice himself to help other people.’
The victim wasn’t just a star gamer but a gifted student as well. He was a semifinalist in the National Merit Scholarship Program in 2020, according to a Facebook post.
Chheda was a former student at Indianapolis’ private Park Tudor School.
‘We are extremely saddened by the tragic death of Varun Chheda, Park Tudor class of 2020,’ read a post from the institution commemorating the lost alum.
‘We extend our deepest condolences to the entire Chheda family. Park Tudor counselors are available to assist any members of our community who may require support; please keep the Chheda family in your thoughts and prayers.’
‘Varun Chheda was a very kind, gentle young man with an absolutely brilliant mind, and he would have done amazing things in and for this world,’ wrote Julie Laughner, the mother of a friend of Chedda’s. ‘It’s a tragedy that his life was senselessly taken before he had a chance to do so.’
Chheda’s funeral will be held on October 9, according to his obituary.