WASHINGTON: A 21-year-old Indian student has been shot dead allegedly by four armed robbers, including an Indian-origin man, at a grocery store in the US state of California, according to a media report.
Dharampreet Singh Jasser was on duty at a grocery store next to a gas station in Fresno city in California on Tuesday night when four armed robbers, including an Indian-origin man, barged in to loot the store, local daily Fresnobee reported.
Mr Jasser reportedly hid behind the cash counter but was shot by one of the four robbers while they were leaving the service station after looting cash and goods, the report said.
The incident was reported to the police yesterday when a customer who had stopped by to buy some goods, discovered Mr Jasser’s body on the floor.
Mr Jasser, who is from Punjab, was a student of accounting and had gone to the US around three years ago on a student visa.
Police has arrested 22-year-old Armitraj Singh 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 Armitraj Singh Athwal, the Madera County Sheriff’s Office said.
Madera Sheriff’s detectives were contacted and determined that 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.
“Shocked at the gruesome murder,” Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, in a tweet, requested External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj “to take up the issue at the highest levels with US authorities to ensure justice for the family.”
Speaking about the investigation, the Sheriff’s Office has said, “Detectives continue to search for other suspects and any further information related to this case.”
Here is the latest update from the Madera County Sheriff, with complete details of the incident and description of the suspects: