A 23-year-old Penn State student was killed when he did not surrender the keys to his motorcycle to an armed man.
A shooting early Monday night just north of Main Campus left a Penn State student dead.
Mohan Varughese, a student at Penn State Abington, was visiting his girlfriend, a Temple student, when he was confronted in front of her house on the 2200 block of North Camac Street by an unknown man at approximately 5:12 p.m.
The unidentified man, armed with a black revolver, reportedly asked Varughese for the keys to his motorcyle. When Varughese did not concede, the man shot him in the chest and his right cheek, a spokesperson from the Philadelphia Police Department Public Affairs division confirmed.
The gunman then fled eastbound on Susquehanna Avenue.
A TU Alert, identifying Varughese as a “non Temple male,” was issued shortly after the shooting, warning students to avoid the area.
Varughese was soon after pronounced dead at Temple University Hospital.
Although some have speculated Varughese was also a former Temple student, Hillel Hoffmann, the assistant director of university communications, said there is no record of Varughese’s name in enrollment records.
Katie Durkin, a sophomore spanish and secondary education major, lives on the block on which the shooting occurred.
“There were two [unrelated] break-ins recently,” Durkin said. “It seems like [crime is] just getting worse.”
Durkin said her roommates fear “retaliation” and that more violence may ensue as a result of the shooting.
Referring to himself as an “ex-Temple student,” Todd Gransby, a 22-year-old local resident, said there is a connection between students moving into the surrounding neighborhood and the crimes that occur.
“Broke people see [students] living in these remodeled houses and they’re going to think you have money,” Gransby said. “No one’s safe, everyone’s a target.”
“I grew up here my whole life and since Temple [students have been] moving in, it’s opened up a criminal market,” Gransby said.
No suspects have been named and no arrests have been made. A sketch of the gunman is expected to be released by the police department.
Varughese was slated to graduate at the university’s commencement on Friday, according to a press release by the university.
Since the shooting, a Facebook group and YouTube video have been posted online, remembering Varughese. On the sidewalk where the crime took place, flowers and a stuffed animal with a Penn State hat were left, honoring the almost-graduate.
Angelo Fichera can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.[Updated at 6:16 p.m.]
Update: An arrest warrant for the gunman was released on May 19. To see details, click here.