Dreamt to become a lawyer, Dharmpreet Singh Jassar, 21, of Khothra village in Banga subdivision, was shot dead purportedly by robbers at a grocery store where he worked, in Fresno city of California late on Tuesday night, local time.
The robbers barged in and Dharampreet Singh hid himself behind the counter but was shot by one of the four men while they were leaving after looting cash and goods, say reports.
A 22-year-old Indian-origin man, Armitraj Singh Athwal, is believed to be one of the four suspects has been arrested. Athwal was said to be under the influence at the time of his arrest.
During a search of Athwal’s vehicle, the police discovered an unregistered 0.38-caliber revolver and a 0.22-caliber assault pistol that had been reported stolen, drugs and a blue bandana noticeable in the surveillance footage of the robbery at the store.
Athwal’s vehicle was also registered in another name.
So far, the investigation has revealed that two male suspects entered the store at about 10:50PM. The two men stole cash and two large boxes of cigarettes, then fired several shots, one of which struck the employee and killed him.
Athwal faces robbery and murder charges. He does not appear to have a lengthy criminal history, Varney said. His bail is set at $1 million.
Dharampreet had a plan to visit the hometown in January after completing his education there.
His relatives, who are in shock told that Singh was the only son of the family, told that he was also supposed to take reins of the family transport business into his hands but the destiny had its own plans.
Dharmpreet had moved to the USA for pursuing his law degree in February 2015 after the family spent Rs 8 lakh. His family had high hopes that the victim would come back in three years and would help in the family transport business.
He stayed with his paternal grandparents who had settled there some years ago. He worked as a store clerk at a grocery store at a petrol pump in Madera city, his family here said. Dharmpreet was shot by four assistants, who came to loot the store in Madera city, California on Tuesday night, local time.
His parents, twin sisters and the rest of the family came to know about his death on Wednesday morning when his grandfather, Bhag Singh, called up. A pall of gloom descended in the village.
On Thursday, all villagers made a beeline for the victim’s house and shared grieve with the family.
Jagdeep Singh Jasser, an uncle of the deceased, said that his a Punjabi-origin youth, identified as Armitraj Singh Athwal, has been arrested by the US police for his murder and other three were also identified.
“This was a very unfortunate incident. A few days back, we were so excited that we will see our son after three years of gap in January. But destiny had planned something else,” said inconsolable Jagdeep.
He said that the postmortem examination will be done Thursday evening, thereafter we will decide about his cremation to be done in the US or if the body shall be brought to India.
MINISTRY EXTENDS HELP TO FAMILY IN US
Following media reports, the state chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh requested the minister external affairs Sushma Swaraj on Twitter stating, “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.”
Jagdeep said that family members informed us that the representative of the external affairs ministry in the USA also approached them to extend required assistance to the family in the case.
Reacting on the case, Swaraj tweeted, “I have received a detailed report on the unfortunate death of an Indian student Dharampreet Jassar in California. It was a case of armed robbery of a gas station in which the robbers shot at Dharampreet who was working there. The police have arrested a suspect of Indian origin. We are following up further investigation by the police and will extend all help to the family of the deceased.”