The university said in a release that Cody M. Cousins, 23, of Warsaw, Ind., faces a preliminary murder charge in the shooting death of Andrew F. Boldt, 21, of West Bend, Wis. School officials said both were seniors in the College of Engineering.
The shooting occurred about noon in the basement of the university's Electrical Engineering Building.
Campus police Chief John Cox said Cousins allegedly fired four or five shots, and then left the building, surrendering to officers minutes later just outside the east side of the building.
The campus was locked down, with students and staff told to remain sheltered in place until about 1:15 p.m.
Cousins was taken to the Tippecanoe County Jail, where he was being held, the university said. No motive for the shooting was provided.
"This was not a typical active shooting," Cox said. "It appears to be an isolated and intentional act and not a random shooting."
Police executed a search warrant at Cousins' off-campus apartment, the university said.
Purdue Provost Tim Sands said after consulting with university President Mitch Daniels, who was in Colombia on a school-related trip, he decided to cancel classes for the remainder of Tuesday and Wednesday.
Daniels, who was making arrangements to cut short his trip and return to West Lafayette immediately, "is of course stunned and saddened as we all are by this crime," Sands said.
Sands said there would be a candlelight vigil at 8 p.m. Tuesday.
"Violent crime, whenever and wherever it occurs, shocks our conscience and incites our rage," Daniels said in a statement. "When it happens in our home, to a family member -- and as a Boilermaker Andrew Boldt was family to us -- those emotions are more powerful still.
"Our prayers tonight are with Andrew and with his parents, who have suffered a loss beyond calculation or consolation. In our grief, we pause to thank this event's organizers, but equally each person in attendance. Through your caring witness, you are demonstrating your love for the Boldts, and for each other in the very special community we call 'Boilermakers.'"