Elliott’s Smoky Performance

A student security patrol officer who alerted Purdue University officials of a fire at its Elliott Hall of Music Oct. 19 has been arrested on suspicion he was the one who started it.

Sophomore Isaiah Peedin, hired by the university to keep surveillance at Elliott Hall during exams, allegedly started fires in the basement of the concert venue and alerted Purdue police and the university’s fire department, according to the Journal Courier of Lafayette.

Some 900 students who were taking exams were reportedly evacuated for an hour.

The 6,005-capacity Indiana venue, which has hosted artists from Jason Mraz to Michael W. Smith to Robin Williams in the past few years, was only slightly damaged. The fires, one in a band locker room and the second in a hallway, were quickly extinguished.

Peedin had provided a description to police of a person he said he saw running from the scene.

“This incident is made even more serious by the fact that Peedin, a member of the Purdue Security Patrol, was on duty at the time and assigned to ensure the safety of those in the theatre taking exams,” Purdue Police Chief John Cox said in a statement.

Peedin, enrolled in the College of Liberal Arts, was arrested on suspicion of arson and perjury, according to the Journal Courier.