Varun Raj Pucha, a 24-year-old Indian-origin student who on October 29th was stabbed at a public gym in Valparaiso, Indiana, has succumbed to his injuries.Pucha, who was a student of computer science at Valparaiso University, died at a local hospital on Wednesday (Nov 8).
In a statement, Valparaiso University announced the passing and said: “It is with heavy hearts that we share the passing of Varun Raj Pucha. Our campus community has lost one of its own, and our thoughts and prayers go out to Varun’s family and friends as we mourn this devastating loss.”
Varun had sustained a severe injury to his head and was transported to a Fort Wayne hospital for urgent medical treatment. At the time, he was given a slim chance of survival, ranging from “zero to five per cent”. He belonged to India’s Telangana and was pursuing an MS in computer science in the US since August 2022. A memorial service will be held for him on the Valparaiso University campus on November 16th.
A little ‘weird’
An NWIU Times report previously identified the attacker as 24-year-old Jordan Andrad, who was detained by the police soon after the attack.The attacker, Andrad, is facing charges of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and attempted murder.
As per the charging document, upon arrest, Andrad told the police that he had requested a massage at the gym on the morning of the incident. Upon entering the massage room, he encountered the other man (Varun), whom he described as “a little weird” and potentially threatening.
Andrad claimed that he reacted the “right way” in response to the perceived threat. He reportedly also told the police that Varun “was going to assassinate him” and that the attack was in defence.The police reported that “Andrad then described (Varun) as a threat to him, so he ‘just reacted’.”
However, when police talked to the gym ‘Planet Fitness’ staff they “indicated that (the victim) was a regular gym member and generally kept to himself, was quiet and reserved, nothing indicating that he was ‘creepy’.”
In his statement to the police, the assailant said that Varun, the victim, remained seated throughout the incident and only made physical contact to push him (the attacker) away after he had initiated the attack.