The police in the US state of California have arrested a 21-year-old man in connection with the fatal stabbing of a 64-year-old Sikh grandfather from India, authorities said on Sunday.
Parmjit Singh was attacked at Gretchen Talley Park in Tracy around 9 pm on August 25 while he was on his evening walk. He later succumbed to his injuries.
Anthony Kreiter-Rhoads of Tracy was arrested on Saturday and charged with homicide in the death of Singh.
Singh’s death shocked the city of Tracy and members of the Sikh community. A vigil was held on Wednesday evening to remember Singh, who had immigrated to Tracy from India three years ago and was an active member of the Sikh community.
Detectives from the Tracy Police Department on Friday presented evidence to a Judge of the San Joaquin County Superior Court, seeking an arrest warrant for Kreiter-Rhoads of Tracy for the homicide of Singh, the police said in a statement.
On Saturday, detectives arrested the suspect based on the warrant and also conducted a search of his residence, seeking additional evidence related to this investigation. There is no new information as to the motive of this crime at this time, but it remains a significant focus of the investigation, the statement said.
The Singh family had offered a USD 20,000 reward earlier in the week for information leading to a suspect. The money for the reward had been gathered through community donations.
The police said they could not say if it was a hate crime.
Harnek Singh Kang, the victim’s son-in-law, said Singh was an active member of the Sikh community.
“We feel very safe in the country, so whatever happened, this is unacceptable,” he said.
Tracy Mayor Robert Rickman in a statement said, “We take pride in our safe, close-knit community. The loss of one of our own to violence has shaken us to our core and is felt by the entire community.
“On behalf of the Tracy City Council, we offer our sincerest condolences to Singh’s family, friends and to the members of our Sikh community. This violence will not be tolerated and we are dedicating every available resource to ensuring that the person responsible for the death of Singh is brought to justice,” Rickman said.
There have been a number of attacks targeting Indian-Americans and Sikhs in the US in recent years.
In August last year, a Sikh man was stabbed to death at his store in the US state of New Jersey. In July last year, another Sikh man was attacked while putting up campaign signs in support of a Republican Congressman.