An Indian-origin student was shot dead during an attempted armed robbery in the US, becoming one of the latest victims of gun violence in the country. Another Indian was injured in the attack. Arshad Vhora, 19, was shot dead on Thursday at the Clark gas station at 142nd and Langley in Dolton in Chicago, CBS News reported.
Police said two people were shot during an armed robbery attempt inside the convenience store. The second victim, Bakar Saieed, was critically wounded, police said, adding the victims are related. Vhora was filling in for a family member at the convenience store and gas station, relatives were quoted as saying by the report.
“This is another act of senseless killing. As we know, it happens too often,” said Abdul Vhora, victim’s first cousin. “He was the oldest of the family, a very intelligent kid. He was filling in for his father while his father was out of the country. His father is on his way back,” Abdul said. The family said Vhora, who was pronounced dead at the scene, was a sophomore business major at South Suburban College. His father was in India for a wedding.
Police are reviewing surveillance video from the gas station, and are investigating the incident as an armed robbery-homicide. They believe the suspects came and left on foot. Though they are investigating the shooting as an armed robbery, police said the cash register appears to be untouched and they have not had problems with the gas station in the past.
A USD 12,000 reward is being offered to help solve the case, the report said. “Investigators are still combing through video and canvassing the area and seeking out potential witnesses, so right now we do not have any potential suspect information,” Dolton Police Chief Robert Collins, Jr, was quoted as saying by ABC News.
“Right now we’re looking at one suspect, that doesn’t rule out the possibility that there may be more suspects involved,” Collins said. Police said they are also interviewing a delivery man who had just arrived at the gas station as a potential witness to the shooting. He was not injured. The shooting comes amidst growing attacks on Indians and Americans of Indian descent in recent months.
On December 15, Karunakar Karengle was killed during a robbery by two hooded attackers in Ohio. Earlier this month, a 30-year-old Indian national pursuing his masters in Chicago has been seriously injured after he was shot in his right cheek by an unidentified assailant. Srinivas Kuchibhotla, a software engineer from India, was fatally shot in Olathe, Kansas, in February by a US Navy veteran who had told him and his friend at a bar to go back to their country.
Weeks later, a Sikh man was shot in his arm in his driveway in Kent, Washington state, by a masked man who had told him go back to his “own country”. There were 58,491 incidents of gun violence across the country in 2017 in which 14,763 people were killed and 29,888 others injured, according to Gun Violence Archive (GVA), a not for profit corporation providing public access to gun-related violence.