ALBANY – A 37-year-old Punjabi dental student at the University of California San Francisco, Randhir Kaur, was found dead and lying in a pool of blood earlier this week at her Albany apartment.
The death of Randhir Kaur, a student at the UCSF School of Dentistry, is being investigated as a homicide, the city’s first such killing in more than a decade, officials said.
Randhir Kaur’s cousin found her inside her second-floor apartment at about 4 p.m. Monday, neighbors said. The Alameda County coroner conducted an autopsy Wednesday, and police report she died of a single gunshot wound.
UCSF officials called Randhir Kaur a “treasured member” of the school community.
“We are saddened at the tragic loss of Randhir Kaur, said UCSF officials in a public statement. “Our hearts go out to her family and friends at this very difficult time. We will miss her deeply.”
No arrest has been made in the homicide case thus far, which happened on a busy residential block just a few blocks away from Albany police headquarters and City Hall.
Kaur’s slaying marks the first recorded murder in Albany since 2004, when Anthony Robinson, 18, of Richmond was shot and killed while driving on Interstate 80. He crashed just off the freeway in Berkeley, but authorities said he had been fired upon in Albany.
Neighbors told SFGate that they had no idea why anyone would want to harm Kaur. They said they rarely saw her and assumed it was because of her rigorous academic schedule.
Anwar Hussain, 57, who lives one building over, disclosed that he was at home on Monday afternoon when he heard a man crying on the street. Hauntingly, he initially mistook the sound for laughter.
“And then I heard him cry again, and he was calling for help,” Hussain said. He said, “My cousin, I just walked into her apartment and there’s a pool of blood and I think somebody has taken her life.’”
Hussain revealed that Kaur lived by herself, and that in the past, he felt comfortable leaving the door to his apartment open as he walked about the neighborhood.
” We’ve always felt very safe here,” said Hussain. “It’s very traumatic for all of us.”
A candlelight vigil has been planned by UCSF to remember and celebrate Randhir’s life. Open to all UCSF students, faculty and staff, the vigil will take place Monday, March 16, from 5 to 7 p.m. in Saunders Court. A formal memorial is also being arranged to take place following the upcoming break.
Randhir Kaur originally hailed from Rupnagar in Punjab and is the daughter of a senior lawyer. Her brother Parampreet Singh Paul has left for the US to bring her body to India.