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Rediff.com  » News » Indian student charged with shooting 3 of family in US

Indian student charged with shooting 3 of family in US

Source: PTI
November 29, 2023 11:57 IST
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A 23-year-old Indian student has been arrested and charged with allegedly murdering his grandparents and uncle inside a New Jersey condominium, the police and US media reports said.

Om Brahmbhatt is accused of shooting Dilipkumar Brahmbhatt, 72, Bindu Brahmbhatt, 72, and Yashkumar Brahmbhatt, 38, the South Plainfield police department and the Middlesex county prosecutor's office said in a statement.

Officers responded to the home on Coppola Drive off New Durham Road in South Plainfield around 9 am on Monday after a neighbour reported hearing shots fired at the Traditions condo complex, the Middlesex county prosecutor's office said in a press release.

After arriving, officers found three people -- two men and a woman -- who had suffered gunshot wounds.

 

Married couple Dilipkumar and Bindu Brahmbhatt were found shot to death in the second-floor apartment, the police said. Their son, Yashkumar Brahmbhatt, was also found to have suffered multiple gunshot wounds. He was taken to the hospital, where he died.

A suspect was taken into custody for questioning at the scene and later charged. Om was charged with three counts of first-degree murder and second-degree weapon possession. Om, hailing from Gujarat, resided with the victims and was found at the residence when authorities arrived at the scene.

Om had just moved to New Jersey within the past couple of months, sources said and had been living at the condo, NBC New York reported.

He was taken to the Middlesex county adult correctional center pending a pre-trial detention hearing; it wasn't immediately clear whether he had an attorney and a listed number for him couldn't be found.

According to the complaint, the crime was committed with a handgun Om says he purchased online. Om had a seemingly calm demeanour during Tuesday's court appearance. The police say he was the one who called 911 that morning and when asked about who did it, officials say Om stated, "It might be me".

It was not clear what led up to the shooting. A neighbour told NBC New York that it wasn't the first time the police had been called to the condo.

"I didn't really know them, I just know one time the police were there for a domestic violence call," said neighbour Jim Short, who lives upstairs from the unit where the three people were found dead. "Can happen anywhere but it is really creepy, it's right downstairs."

The Traditions apartment complex, home to many young families who emigrated from India, is equipped with dozens of security cameras that neighbours hoped could help the police.

"There's cameras all over and there are cameras coming in and out of the complex and every building has cameras outside and inside the breezeway. So hopefully that can help," said another neighbour, Victor Orozco.

An investigation led by the South Plainfield police department is ongoing. Anyone with information regarding the shooting is asked to call town police or the Middlesex county prosecutor's office. 

An investigation by South Plainfield detective Thomas Rutter and Middlesex county prosecutor's office detective Javier Morillo determined that there was no threat to the public and this was not a random act of violence, according to the prosecutor's office.

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