Three arrested in the murder of Kotha Govardhan Reddy, who becomes at least the ninth Indian American killed in a convenience store in the past four years.
(Editor’s note: This story has been updated.)
Three people were arrested in connection with the murder of Indian American Govardhan Kotha at a convenience store in Pensacola, FL, on Tuesday night.
Reddy, a 50-year-old man from the Indian state of Telangana, was shot dead at a store where was working as a clerk, FL, in what’s believed to be a robbery attempt.
Reddy is the ninth Indian American killed in convenience store attacks since April 2015.
The Escambia County’s Sheriff Office arrested two men and a woman, Efidarius Gemeateus Bryant, Keandra Martez Smith and Crystal Elaine Clausell, in connection with the murder, Sheriff’s Office said a Facebook post.
The convenience store Quick Fill, located at 7144 Mobile Highway, between the Baldwin County line and Pensacola city limits.
The Escambia County Sherriff Office had launched a hunt for the suspects who were caught on camera wearing a hoodie and pointing a gun to Reddy. Police were able to successfully nab them.
According to police, they received the news of the incident on February 19, and responded around 8:13. They found Kotha Reddy, “with multiple gunshot wounds.”
Of the three suspects, Bryant and Smith “have been arrested for Felony Murder and Conspiracy to Commit Robbery,” while Clausell “has been arrested for Conspiracy to Commit Robbery,” police said.
Reddy, who came to the United States seven years ago, is survived by his wife and two school going daughters. Both his wife and daughters live with their in-laws in India.
Reddy’s family in Rahimkhanpet village in Telangana was informed about the incident by a friend and did not have many details on the incident.
The American Telugu Association (ATA) and other local Telugu organizations are helping to take the body back to India. It might take a week before the body can finally be flown as the post mortem procedures may take up to that time.
One of his relatives in India, Prathapreddy Reddy posted condolences for Reddy in an emotional Facebook post. He wrote “Yesterday one of my close relative Kotha Govardhan Reddy shot dead by two African American armed men in Florida united states. While closing his departmental store two unidentified armed men entered in his shop and opened the fire on robbery attempt. On the spot my relative died and another person seriously injured. My heartfelt condolence to their family. Rest In Peace. My strong appeal that those who are staying outside our country please take your safety measures to avoid such situations.”
Convenience stores and gas stations are among the most dangerous work places, as they are easy targets for armed robbers.
Four Indian Americans were killed in convenience stores between April 2015 and March 2017 in South Carolina. Other stores where Indian Americans were killed in convenience store include California, Ohio and Mississippi.
Two Indian Americans murdered in separate incidents in California (August 2, 2017)
Indian American storekeeper shot during armed robbery in Ohio dead (December 14, 2017)
Indian American Sikh store clerk shot dead during armed robbery in Mississippi (November 29, 2017)
Indian American engineer shot dead in Olathe, Kansas, in apparent hate crime (February 23, 2017)
Indian American cab driver, 22, stabbed to death in Idaho (August 30, 2017)