Indian student shot dead in US

Sunday, December 26, 2010

HYDERABAD/WASHINGTON - An Indian student hailing from Andhra Pradesh has been shot dead during a robbery at a convenience store in the US, his family and US media reportS said Sunday.

Elaprolu Jayachandra, 22, was shot dead by unidentified robbers early Sunday at the store in Pasadena in Texas where he was working. He was shot five times, the Houston Chronicle reported.

The incident occurred when a man in a ski mask shot Jayachandra and took the cash register, Pasadena police spokesman Bud Corbett was quoted as saying by the Houston Chronicle.

A manager at the store, Ali Kahn, said the victim had been working at the store for less than a month.

Jayachandra’s family in Andhra Pradesh received the shocking news from his friends late Saturday night. The incident took place between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. local time Dec 25.

Jayachandra, who had gone to the US in July and was doing his Masters in computers, had taken up part-time job as a clerk at the gas station store only a month ago.

A pall of gloom has descended on the house of Jayachandra in Vijayawada city in Krishna district, about 300 km from here. Relatives and friends poured in to console Jayachandra’s parents and family members.

“We were told that a black man barged into the gas station, shot at my son and escaped with the money. But we also received another version that the man was not black. Whoever he may be, he is a criminal,” an inconsolable Nageswara Rao told reporters in Vijayawada.

Jayachandra was reportedly shot five times and the police there are looking for two assailants.

Police distributed the surveillance video from the store to local media outlets in an attempt to find witnesses, the newspaper said.

The CCTV footage obtained by the police showed a masked man entering the gas station, shooting the clerk and taking away the cash register.

Jayachandra was able to get behind a door that opened to a small office behind the counter. However, he appears to have been shot through the door.

The family members said Jayachandra’s body would be flown home in couple of days. Telugu Association of North America (TANA) has promised to help the family in making the arrangements.

Jayachandra’s murder is the latest in a series of incidents involving Telugu students and professionals.

In June this year, Adarsh John, who was doing Masters in Texas University, was found murdered by unidentified people.

In March, 28-year-old Prashanth Goinaka was shot dead by unidentified robbers at a convenience store in Oklahoma. He was studying MBA at the International Technological University at California and had taken up a part-time job.

As many as 12 Telugu students and techies were murdered in the US during the last three years.

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