- Varun Raj Pucha, 29, who was pursuing a master’s degree in information technology, was severely hit in the head, and was rushed to a hospital in Fort Wayne, where he underwent emergency surgery.
Students at Valparaiso University in Indiana are reeling after a graduate student from India was stabbed at a gym this past weekend. The student, identified as Varun Raj Pucha, suffered a knife wound on Oct. 28 at a Planet Fitness near the university campus.
The 29-year-old from Khammam, Telangana was pursuing a master’s degree in information technology. He was severely stabbed in the head and was rushed to a hospital in Fort Wayne, where he underwent emergency surgery, according to a GoFundMe fundraiser set up by the North American Telugu Society (NATS). He is currently in critical condition, “battling for his life in a coma,” the GoFundMe page added.
Funds raised through the GoFundMe page will be used to cover “extensive medical expenses and travel expenses for his parents to the U.S.,” NATS said, adding that Pouch’s family is “facing a harrowing journey filled with uncertainty and overwhelming medical bills.”
Valparaiso University also issued a statement expressing shock and sadness on Pucha’s death. “At Valparaiso University, we consider each other family, and this incident is horrifying for us all,” read the statement. “Our thoughts and prayers are with all of his friends and family.”
Meanwhile, police arrested 24-year-old Jordan Andrade of Porter Township, in connection to the stabbing. He has been charged with attempted murder and aggravated battery.
He told the police that he had gone to the massage room for a deep tissue massage at the gym on Oct. 28, when he saw Pucha in a neighboring chair, Chesterton Tribune reported. Andrade further told the police that staff told him the man had acted “weirdly,” adding that he believed Pucha was going to assassinate him, the Chesterton Tribune report said.
In another statement, Andrade said Pucha stated something about hurting him like a girl. Believing Pucha was going to hurt him, “Andrade pressed down on the man in the chair,” the report said. He also admitted that “he went to the restroom and cleaned blood off the gloves and knife. The chair where the stabbing occurred was covered with blood.”