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USA Elderly Sikh Men Shot, Police Looking Into Hate Crime Possibility


1947-2014 (Archived)
The Elk Grove Police Department said Saturday they have not been able to uncover an apparent motive in the shooting death of an elderly Sikh man and the injury of another, leading investigators to believe the crime might be motivated by hate.

"At present, we have no evidence to indicate there was a hate or bias motivation for this crime; however, the obvious Sikh appearance of the men, including the traditional Dastar headwear and lack of any other apparent motive, increasingly raise that possibility," Elk Grove Police Chief Robert M. Lehner said in a statement.

Surinder Singh, 65, and Gurmej Atwal, 78, were both out walking on E. Stockton Way Friday afternoon near their homes in Elk Grove. For reason unknown to police, Singh was shot and killed. Atwal was taken to hospital in critical condition with gunshot wounds to his chest.

Members of both families are just as baffled as investigators.

"Anybody who would do these things, I don't know why," Harvinder Singh, the son of victim Surinder Singh, said Saturday.

Elk Grove PD have notified the local FBI office in belief this might be a hate crime.



1947-2014 (Archived)
Reward in shooting of Sikh friends increased to $30,000

WEST SACRAMENTO, CA - A reward for information leading to the arrest of the person or persons responsible for shooting two Sikh men, one fatally, has grown to $30,000.

The growing reward was announced during a news conference Monday morning held by leaders in the Sikh community, West Sacramento, Elk Grove and state officials in response to the slaying of Surinder Singh, 67, and shooting of Gurmej Atwal, 78, on East Stockton Boulevard late Friday afternoon. Atwal remains in critical but stable condition.

Elk Grove police have said the shooting may have been a hate crime since both men were wearing traditional headwear, and no other apparent motive has surfaced.

Detectives have released a description of a truck that was seen in the area just after the shooting. The truck was described as a tan or light brown Ford F150 pickup truck, model year 1999-2003.

Anyone with information about the shooting was asked to contact the Elk Grove Police Department.