Shooting near Main Campus leaves PSU student dead

A bear with a Penn State hat dedicated to Mohan Varughese was left at the site of the shooting. ANGELO FICHERA TTN

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.

A bear with a Penn State hat dedicated to Mohan Varughese was left at the site of the shooting. ANGELO FICHERA TTN

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

[Updated at 6:16 p.m.]

Update: An arrest warrant for the gunman was released on May 19. To see details, click here.

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