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Indian American pharmacist shot dead in New Jersey

April 30, 2011 13:22 IST

An Indian-American pharmacy owner in Trenton, New Jersey, was shot dead allegedly by a teenager after he refused to give a medicine to the boy without a valid prescription.

Arjun Reddy Dyapa, 52, owner of Brunswick Avenue Pharmacy in Broad Street, was shot in the chest and brought dead to the Capital Health Regional Medical Centre across the pharmacy at approximately 6.30 pm local time on Friday evening.

Eye witnesses said a teenage African-American with dreadlocks showed up at the counter and demanded a medicine without producing a valid prescription issued by a physician.

Dyapa politely refused but when the customer insisted that he be given the medicine, he told the boy that he would lose his licence if he obliges him.

The customer, at that time, seemed to have resigned to the fate and nodded his head, said Dyapa's staff. The boy left, only to return again. He fired one bullet at Dyapa from his pistol.

The police have taken the video camera recordings from the store
and are confident of nabbing the criminal very soon.

Dyapa, a native of Jadcherala village in Mehboobnagar district of Andhra Pradesh, is survived by wife Geetha and a 16-year-old daughter.

Dyapa was an active community activist. He was one of the founders of North American Telugu Association and a senior leader of the American Telugu Association.

He was involved with several social and cultural organisations in New Jersey.

Steve Ettman, who owns Westside Pharmacy on Hermitage Avenue, said he was "absolutely shocked" by the news.

He is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the killer.

"This could happen to any of us and Reddy was a nice guy, ever helpful," he said.

The shocked Indian American community leaders gathered at the hospital to console the family and assist in the identification of the culprit.

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