In the past week alone two Indian store clerks were shot dead by teens, in Georgia and California
On a Thursday morning in one of the Indian expat social media groups spanning thousands of members, there was an animated discussion on the heart-breaking news of yet another young Indian store clerk shot dead by a teen in an armed robbery, this time in California.
The past week has seen two, armed robbery incidents in the country where the suspects have been teenagers who targeted local convenience stores for robbery while killing the store clerks.
The latest news in this mindless killing came from Hesperia, a city in Saint Bernardino County in California where a 16-year-old teenager shot dead an Indian store clerk.
READ: Indian American store clerk shot dead in Georgia (July 5, 2023)
The incident happened at 6:30 pm at. Mobil Gas Station located on Main Street. The teen who shot the clerk, robbed the store and then ran off. The deceased store clerk was 27-year-old, Parveen Singh, who worked at the store.
When the officers arrived, they found Singh on the ground with a gunshot wound. He was rushed to the hospital, but he later succumbed to his gun-shot wound.
The suspect was a 16-year-old from nearby Victorville. He was apprehended by the police just about a block away. He is currently booked into the High Desert Juvenile Hall in Apple Valley where he faces murder and robbery charges.
The incident happened just a day after another Indian store clerk, Mandeep Singh was shot dead in Augusta, Georgia. Two 15-year-olds entered the Wrens Food Mart where they robbed the store while fatally shooting 36-year-old Mandeep Singh who had been working in the store for less than a month.
Gun violence has become a bitter reality most Americans live with today. From schools to parades to malls to neighborhoods, there is no place that has remained immune to gun violence in the country.
But most desis feel that given the rising gun violence, it is now becoming increasingly difficult for a lot of Indian students to peacefully work at places such as convenience stores, gas stations and other low-end jobs.
Anisha Shah of Rosemont, Illinois says, â€œIt is scary that the people committing these crimes are teenagers. This shows how easy they think it is to shoot just another brown person working at a store.â€
â€œWhile gun violence is a national problem, the reason why a lot of Indians are killed at convenience stores is also because the perpetrators know that these are young men who are unarmed and mostly working odd jobs to provide for their families or to support themselves as students,â€ she says.
It is also a common community belief that since most Indians do not possess firearms like Americans, the robbers consider them as easier targets.
Nandi Kamath of south Dakota says, â€œMost of those who are killed in this merciless gun culture are either students or Indians who are just trying to stay afloat in the US and doing jobs that require odd hours or are at remote areas â€“ both prime factors for criminals to do their jobs and escape. The need of the hour is that the administration takes these killings seriously.â€
Indian student shot dead at Ohio gas stationÂ (April 21, 2023)
Indian grocery store clerk shot dead in Georgia in daylight robberyÂ (September 19, 2022)
Two Indian Americans murdered in separate incidents in CaliforniaÂ (August 2, 2017)
Indian American storekeeper shot during armed robbery in Ohio deadÂ (December 14, 2017)
Indian American Sikh store clerk shot dead during armed robbery in MississippiÂ (November 29, 2017)