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 are looking for a a tan or light brown 1999 to 2003 Ford F150 pickup truck similar to the vehicles pictured.

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.

Singh was a truck driver who had worked in both India and Libya before moving to the United States about five years ago, his son Harvinder Singh, told the Sacramento Bee. He had recently survived his fourth heart attack.

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.)

Comments (12)
  1. MIke Hawk says:

    Your have to be pretty f-ing stupid to not know the difference between Sikhs and Muslims

  2. CANY says:

    I TOTALLY AGREE WITH MIKE, IT’S SHEAR IGNORANCE! REMEMBER WHAT HAPPENED AFTER 911, EVERYONE WENT NUTS AND STARTED ATTACKING THE INDIAN PEOPLE FROM INDIA….WHEN I READ THIS YESTERDAY, THE FIRST THING THAT CROSSED MY MIND, WAS THIS WAS A HATE CRIME! THESE WERE DEFENSELESS ELDERLY MEN. WHAT A DAMNED SHAME!!!

  3. Hereticmonk says:

    $5,000?! That’s it?!?! Laci Peterson was worth $500,000. I guess they really don’t want to find the killers but want to look like they want to find the killers.

    1. Dell says:

      Laci was White…BIG DIFFERENCE! White folk have always been valued much more than those who are not. My sympathy to the family.

  4. Jade says:

    Ignorance breeds hate. My condolences to the families.

  5. concerned citizen says:

    Hereticmonk, the reward amount should not matter. If anyone knows where this killer is, they should come forward. Would you pu up $500,000 if your family member was killed. NOT! Have a heart.

  6. Mahima Singh says:

    My heart goes out to the Family. Rest in Peace.

  7. Codee14 says:

    Another sad day in California. The criminals will continue to commit crimes on the law abiding citizens. These two men were doing nothing wrong except living the dream of freedom.

    Don’t worry though the people who did this will live in freedom for the rest of their lives on the tax payers dime. We don’t believe in justice in the United States. If this happened in their country the criminals would be put to death in days and not die of old age.

    R.I.P.

  8. gillgurl says:

    This is just another sad violent crime that did not ever need to happen. I mean who were these men bothering…….NOBODY!! Some idiot decisde that their lives were not worth anything and decided to take them from their families.It pains me that I breathe the same air as someone who would be so heartless. A little bit of education of our many beautiful races and a bit of appreciation for our cultural differeences is all it would take to make this world a better place. I hope the family can find that there are still loving and caring people in the world after such a tragedy. My heart completely goes out to them, regardless of culture, race, creed, religion, the way that it should be. I know that when the killer or killers are caught it will not bring instant satisfaction, no justice is enough for taking the life of another willfully and purposefully but at least that will be a small closure to such a horrible situation.

  9. Chingon says:

    What a shame. First the Sihk who got beat up in his cab while on the job and now this. People need to get a clue and stop killing people that dont live the lives that they do. Let these ignorant people kill each other but not inocent people

  10. S_S_RAI says:

    “Seeking Justice” Candle-light Vigil

    Time:
    Friday, March 11 · 6:00pm – 9:00pm

    Location:
    East Stockton Boulevard and Geneva Pointe Drive
    Elk Grove, CA

    http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=140085566058857

    Americans coming together to support fellow Americans.

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