P. Varun Raj, an Indian student studying in the US, who was stabbed with a knife at a public gym in Valparaiso, Indiana on Sunday has been given a zero to 5% chance of survival.
His alleged assailant Porter Township resident Jordan Andrade, 24, who remained behind bars at the Porter County Jail as of Tuesday morning, was charged with attempted murder and aggravated battery, local nwitimes.com reported.
Andrade is scheduled to make an initial appearance on the charges Wednesday afternoon before Porter Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Clymer.
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The newspaper cited Valparaiso police as saying they were called out around 9 am Sunday to the Planet Fitness club at 1270 Strongbow Center Drive where they learned the victim was found seated in a massage chair with the head injury.
Police said they walked into the massage chair room to find a large amount of blood on one of two chairs and a folding knife on the counter that reportedly belonged to Andrade.
“Officers also spoke with Planet Fitness staff who indicated that (the stabbed man) was a regular gym member and generally kept to himself, was quiet and reserved, nothing indicating that he was ‘creepy,'” police said.
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The wounded Indian student, who was ultimately taken to a Fort Wayne hospital due to the severity of his injury, was reportedly given a zero to 5% chance of survival, the newspaper said.
Andrade, who is accused of driving a knife into the temple and ultimately the brain stem of Varun told police he believed the victim “was going to assassinate me,” according to newly filed charges in the case.
The attacker told the police that he had requested a massage that morning and walked into the massage room to find the other man, whom he did not know but found “a little weird.”
Varun did not speak to him before the attack and did not approach him, but Andrade said “someone” had told him the man was threatening, according to police.
Determining the other man posed a threat, Andrade said he made sure to react the “right way,” according to a charging document.
“Andrade then described (the man) as a threat to him so he, ‘just reacted,'” police said.
Andrade said the other man never got out of his chair and did not instigate any contact, “stating that the only physical contact was (the man) attempting to push Andrade off him after Andrade started attacking” him, police said.
Andrade, who claimed to be a former high school football player capable of bench pressing 260 pounds, described the other man as “pretty little,” according to police.
Andrade said he defended himself against the other man as a “defensive fighter” and “took him out” using the knife, police said.
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“How did you use the knife?” police asked.
“Uh, I just put it through,” Andrade reportedly responded.
When asked what he put it through, Andrade replied, “I don’t even want to say it,” according to police. “It was in his head.”
Andrade said he pulled the knife out of his pocket, which he uses to open boxes while at work at the Menards store.
Meanwhile, Varun’s father P Ram Murthy, a teacher in Telangana’s Khammam told Indian media, “We got information from my son’s roommate that he (my son) has been attacked by one person and that he has been admitted to a hospital and that his condition is critical.”
Varun had been pursuing MS in Computer Science and left for the US in August 2022. He was expected to return home (Khammam) after completion of his course next year, his family said.
“We want justice for our child,” Varun’s aunt said, adding that the attacker should be handed stern punishment.