TRACY (CBS13) – The Sikh community in Tracy is demanding answers after a 64-year-old man was brutally stabbed to death while walking in his neighborhood.
The attack happened Sunday around 9 p.m. in the area of Gretchen Talley Park.
Parmjit Singh was a peaceful, family man according to his son-in-law who could barely speak through his tears, saying that Singh was like a father to him.
“I lost my own dad back in ’87. He was like a dream to have a dad again,” said Harnek Singh Kang.
He says Singh immigrated from India in 2016 as a farmer, studying the irrigation systems of the U.S. He had two kids and three grandchildren.
“He was very close to me. These things that happen are really bad, should not happen,” said Kang.
But Sunday night, Singh’s routine walk through Gretchen Talley Park in Tracy took a violent turn. Police say he was stabbed and left bleeding on the sidewalk, just feet away from Wanda Hirsch Elementary School.
Tracy police arrived within two minutes of the 911 call, but Singh died on scene.
His death now raising concerns in the community.
“How many people just go to the park for a walk? This could have been my relative, my uncle, my family member,” said Jass Sangha, who helped organize a community meeting. “Nobody deserves to die a death like that, no one deserves to see a family member stabbed.”
Police are now searching for a person of interest: a white male spotted on surveillance cameras running in the same area where Singh was killed.
“It could turn out to be a witness or a suspect. We’re hoping someone from the community recognizes that person,” said Alex Neicu, the Tracy police chief.
In an emergency meeting on Monday, the mayor and police chief talked with the Sikh community to calm fears and answer questions.
“We will use every available resource in this city, state and federal, to find whoever did this and bring them to justice,” said Robert Rickman, Tracy’s mayor.
Police are asking for the public’s help in identifying the man caught on camera. The community is offering a $1000 reward.
Investigators say as far as a motive, all options are on the table – including a possible hate crime.