First officer on the scene of Purdue shooting speaks

West Lafayette Police Officer Kevin Coomey
West Lafayette Police Officer Kevin Coomey

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – West Lafayette Police Officer Kevin Coomey admits a practice he has while on patrol may seem nosey to some, but it allowed him to get to a scene of a shooting on Purdue’s campus in less than two minutes.

“I knew I was going to be close to one of the first on scene,” Coomey said.

Coomey listens to all departments’ scanners in his car, and Tuesday around noon he heard the Tippecanoe County Sheriff’s Office dispatch a report of shots fired on campus.

“There are not too many sheriff’s officers who hang around campus,” Coomey said.

Officer Coomey heard Tippecanoe County dispatch a report of shots fired while he was driving on North River Road. Ninety seconds later he had Cody Cousins down on the ground outside of the Electrical Engineering building.

Cousins was already kneeling with his hands behind his head.

“I ordered him down to the ground,” Coomey said. “When he brought his hands off the top of his head then I noticed there was a reddish tinting to his hands.”

Blood was on Cousins hands after he allegedly shot and killed 21-year-old Andrew Boldt in the basement of the the double E building.

Coomey said Cousins did not resist and was not armed. They made eye contact, but said nothing after that.

“There was no emotion I sensed from him at all,” Coomey said. “It’s shocking the mind can just shut off like that the way it did.”

Hours later, at a news conference, Coomey was named as the officer who first apprehended Cousins. Now, more than 24 hours later he has had time to reflect about the situation and the community’s response to it.

“I’m not trying to be a hero,” Coomey said. “I don’t want to be a hero. None of us in uniform ask for this. It just gets thrust upon us. All of us would have done the exact same thing I did.”

Officer Coomey said he held Cousins put for about two minutes until a Purdue Police Officer came to help him. He was on scene for about two more hours searching the area.

He said when he got home his wife was waiting for him at the door. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language, off topic, or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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