NEW DELHI: A college student of Gujarat origin was shot dead during a robbery attempt at a gas station in the US on Thursday and another Indian from Hyderabad, 55-year-old Saieed Baquer Hussain was critically injured, media reports said.
Nineteen-year-old Arshad Vhora was filling in for his father — who was in India to attend a wedding — at the gas station in Dolton, Illinois, when the attempted robbery took place, ABC 7 Chicago reported. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
The other victim, 55-year-old Baquar Saieed, was taken to a hospital and is in serious condition.
Consul General along with Mr Meena , Consul visited Mr Baquar Saieed who was a victim of attempted armed robbery in Chicago. He is conscious and was talking to us.he is recovering well by God’s grace@sushmaswaraj@navtejsarna@ pic.twitter.com/m6uFsMGZAA
— India in Chicago (@IndiainChicago) December 30, 2017
The business is family-owned and operated and the victims were related, though it was not immediately clear how, Chicago Sun-Times said, quoting Dolton Police chief Robert M. Collins Jr.
The attempted robbery took place about 11 am and no one was in custody as of Thursday afternoon, Collins said.
Police said they received a 911 call from the Clark gas station from a man who was unable to speak. The officers rushed to the scene and found the victims.
“This is another act of senseless killing. As we know, it happens too often,” said Abdul Vhora, a relative. “He was 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.”
Vhora was a sophomore business major at South Suburban College, relatives said.
Police are reviewing surveillance video from the gas station, and are investigating the incident as an armed robbery homicide. Police 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.
According to ABC 7 Chicago, the police 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.
“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,” said Collins.
“Right now, we’re looking at one suspect but that doesn’t rule out the possibility that there may be more suspects involved.”
A $12,000 reward is being offered by the victims’ family, community activist Andrew Holmes and Dolton Mayor Riley Rogers for information leading to the arrest of the killer.
“To the perpetrators, we’re not going to stop. We’re just going to work with all the law enforcement agencies until someone is brought to justice,” Holmes said.
Meanwhile, Baquar Saieed’s family have sought the help of Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj to aid them.
#Hyderabad resident Syed Muzaffer Hussain says his father has been shot at a gas station in Chicago and is presently under medical observation, requests EAM Sushma Swaraj to take note of the matter & help the family pic.twitter.com/o7yAl1slaY
— ANI (@ANI) December 29, 2017
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.