Grad student critically injured in Valparaiso stabbing at Planet Fitness dies: university

24-year-old Jordan Andrade charges upgraded to murder

ByABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Thursday, November 9, 2023
Stabbing charges upgraded to murder after Valparaiso graduat student dies
Valparaiso University grad student Varun Raj Pucha has died after a Planet Fitness stabbing; Jordan Andrade is now charged with his murder.

VALPARAISO, Ind. (WLS) -- A 29-year-old Valparaiso grad student who was stabbed in the head last month while working out at Planet Fitness just down the road from his school has died.

Varun Raj Pucha was stabbed on Oct. 29. He was put on life support, and has since died, Valparaiso University said on its Facebook page Wednesday morning.

"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," the school said. "The university continues to be in contact with Varun's family, and we will continue to offer assistance and support wherever possible as they navigate this extremely difficult time. We ask that you join us in keeping them in your thoughts and prayers."

A lot of people showed up on Sunday night to the Indian American cultural center in Merrillville, Indiana to unite together for Pucha.

His cousin told ABC7 Chicago that his condition did not improve after the incident.

He only had movement on one side of his body and remained unconscious at a hospital in Fort Wayne before his death.

Anile Balleboyne is one of just a couple relatives the student had in the U.S. as his parents and the rest of the family are in India. She said he came to Indiana about a year and a half ago in hopes of getting a good education.

"It's very difficult, because no one would expect this kind of situation for their kids. He has many dreams. He came with many dreams, to financially and emotionally support his family," Balleboyne said.

SEE ALSO | Valparaiso University students shocked after international graduate student stabbed

Jordan Andrade, 24, is now facing a murder charge. His lawyers have filed for a mental health examination. Police have not announced a motive in the stabbing.