ELK GROVE, Calif. (CBS13/AP) — A reward being offered after two Sikh men were gunned down — one of them fatally — on a sidewalk in Elk Grove over the weekend has grown to nearly $30,000 as more information on possible suspects is released.
The reward for information leading to a conviction in the Friday afternoon shooting in Elk Grove comes as police cautioned there was no evidence it was a hate crime. However, the Sacramento suburb’s police chief, Robert Lehner, said there was no other apparent motive.
“The obvious Sikh appearance of the men, including the traditional Dastar headwear and lack of any other apparent motive, increasingly raise that possibility,” he said in a statement.
Authorities said 65-year-old Surinder Singh was pronounced dead at the scene, and a second man, identified as 78-year-old Gurmej Atwal, has been hospitalized in critical condition.
Police do not have much information on a suspect or suspects but have said they are looking for a tan or light brown Ford F-150 pick-up truck made sometime between 1999 and 2003.
Atwal moved to the U.S. from India in 2001, and the family settled two years later in Elk Grove, according to his son, Kamaljit Atwal.
“He is quite a gentle man,” he said.
The executive director of the council’s Sacramento Valley chapter noted that Sikh men in beards and turbans are often targeted by those who mistake them for Muslims.
“The Muslim community offers its condolences and support to the Sikh community in this time of sorrow,” Basim Elkarra said.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)