WEST LAFAYETTE (WISH) – Purdue students will head back to class Thursday morning.
Classes were canceled Wednesday in the wake of that deadly shooting in the Electrical Engineering Building on campus.
Police say 23-year-old Cody Cousins shot and killed 21-year-old Andrew Boldt of Wisconsin, a senior engineering TA.
Purdue President Mitch Daniels cut a trip to Colombia short after the shooting, and arrived back on campus Wednesday evening.
Daniels spoke with 24-Hour News 8.
“Deeply, deeply saddened. It is not exaggerated to say that this campus has a tremendous sense of spirit,” Daniels said. “It was literally, like losing a family member. I learned a lot about Andrew Boldt in he last 24 hours, and he was a remarkable young man.”
Daniels said he’d been in touch with the Boldt family.
He said officials held a debriefing Wednesday afternoon to go over every aspect of the shooting and the response, to determine how they can learn from the situation.
“From the actual event to the capture of the suspect, three minutes,” he explained. “We want to walk through everything. How well did the alert system work, can we improve technology. Were people well-enough trained to know how to handle the alerts?”
Some students told 24-Hour News 8 they were concerned, because their professor continued to teach, even after the students got emergency text alerts. Daniels said he was aware of the situation and was looking into it.
Daniels said he’d been talking with students since he got back, and would continue to do that. He went to have dinner with some of the students in a campus dining hall Wednesday evening. As far as advice for students heading back to class Thursday, he said pray for Andrew Boldt, and study hard.
Meanwhile, on campus, those who knew victim Andrew Boldt well, say it may be hard for some to head back to class, but they’ll do it – together.
“I think anyone who has a class in EE, it will be hard to step foot in there. As ECE’s, it’ll take quite a while to get over it,” said EJ Williams, who said Boldt was his TA last year, and he recently worked with Boldt as a TA.
“Andrew was always the guy we’d go to; we’d grab him, because he was the best TA by far,” Williams added.
“We’ve all got to figure out now how we regroup, we move forward, and we charge ahead, and do so in an honorable way that honors his life,” said Danny White, the manager of Purdue Motorsports.
Boldt was passionate about Grand Prix racing and raced for his residence hall’s team under the guidance of instructor Danny White.
“If we had more students like Andrew, I think it would be a much better campus. He was a great student,” White said. “It’s a loss to the Indy Grand Prix program, it’s a loss to the electrical engineering department, it’s a loss to Purdue University. It’s a loss to anyone who has ever come into contact with him.”