A 21-year-old Indian student, who hailed from Punjab’s Nawanshahr area, has been shot dead by four robbers, including an Indian-origin man, at a grocery store in California.
Dharampreet Singh Jasser was on duty at a grocery store in California’s Fresno city on Tuesday night when the robbers laid siege to the store, local daily Fresnobee reported. Jasser quickly hid behind the counter but apparently got noticed by a robber and was shot. The robbers decamped with cash and goods.
The incident came to light when a customer who had entered the shop to buy some goods, discovered Jasser’s body and informed the police. Jasser was a student of accounting and had gone to the US around three years ago on a student visa.
Shocked at the gruesome killing of Nawanshahr’s Dharampreet Singh in California. @SushmaSwaraj ji, request to you to take up the issue at highest levels with US authorities to ensure justice for the family.
— Capt.Amarinder Singh (@capt_amarinder) November 16, 2017
Police has arrested 22-year-old Athwal, an Indian-origin man, who is believed to be one of the four suspects who looted the gas station and fired multiple shots one of which hit Jasser. Police said a Fresno County Sheriff’s deputy saw media coverage of the incident on Tuesday and recognised some similarities between the suspects from the incident and Athwal, the Madera County Sheriff’s Office said.
Madera Sheriff’s detectives were contacted and determined Athwal is the likely suspect in the shooting. A warrant has been obtained for the suspect and he will be transferred to the Madera Department of Corrections, the report said.
Athwal has been charged with murder and robbery. “Dharampreet was a completely innocent victim, just doing his job, when he was senselessly killed during this robbery,” Madera Sheriff Jay Varney said. Detectives continue to search for other suspects and any further information related to this case, the Sheriff’s Office said.
Reacting the gruesome murder, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh expressed shock and requested External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to take up the matter with US authorities. “Shocked at the gruesome killing of Nawanshahr’s Dharampreet Singh in California. @SushmaSwaraj ji, request to you to take up the issue at highest levels with US authorities to ensure justice for the family,” Singh tweeted.
(With PTI inputs)