Two Elderly Sikh American Men Shot in Possible Hate Crime

March 6th, 2011

Local Sikh Community to Hold Press Conference; Offer $10K Reward for Info on Shooting

March 6, 2011: Two elderly Sikh American men were shot this past Friday in Elk Grove, CA. Surinder Singh (67) and his friend Gurmej Atwal (78) were shot on East Stockton Boulevard during their daily afternoon walk. A nearby driver spotted the bodies of the elderly men along the sidewalk and stopped to call the police. Mr.  Singh was found dead. Mr. Atwal, who was shot twice in the chest, is in critical but stable condition. Both men wore dastaars (Sikh turbans) and had beards in accordance with their Sikh faith.

Tomorrow, Monday, March 7, 2011, the Sacramento Sikh American community will be holding a press conference announcing a reward of $10,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the shooting of

Elk Grove Police Chief Robert Lehner said in a statement: “We have no evidence to indicate there was a hate or bias motivation for this crime; however, the obvious Sikh appearance of the men, including the traditional Dastar headwear and lack of any other apparent motive, increasingly raise that possibility.”

READ MORE: Elk Grove shooting investigated as possible hate crime (News10-TV)
READ MORE: Attack on two Sikh men seen as possible hate crime (Sac Bee)

“Theses attacks on two innocent and elderly individuals are utterly inexcusable,” said SALDEF Managing Director Kavneet Singh, from Oakland, CA. “We call upon the Elk Grove Police Department and the FBI to ensure a thorough investigation is conducted and that hate crime charges are fully investigated against any culprits that are found.”

The Sikh community of Stockton, Yuba City, and Sacramento and SALDEF are offering a $10,000 reward for information on the crime. Additionally. the Elk Grove Police Department has issued a $1000 reward and the Sacramento Valley chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-SV) today offered a $5,000 reward for information related to the attacks. 

WHAT: Press Conference Reacting to Shooting of Two Elderly Sikh Americans
WHEN: Monday, March 7th, 10 AM
WHERE: Sikh Temple Sacramento
2301 Evergreen Avenue, West Sacramento, CA

Just four months ago, a Sikh American cab driver was brutally assaulted in West Sacramento, CA after picking up passengers at a local restaurant. The assailants, who yelled anti-Islamic remarks as they beat the 56 year old driver, were apprehended by the police.

READ MORE: Sacramento Sikh Cab Driver Severely Beaten

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