Sikh man stabbed to death in US, homicide investigation underway
In an emergency meeting, the mayor and police chief talked with the Sikh community to calm fears and answer their questions.
WASHINGTON: A 64-year-old Sikh man from India was stabbed to death by an unidentified person in the US state of California while he was on his evening walk, according to a media report.
Parmjit Singh was attacked in Gretchen Talley Park in Tracy around 9 pm on Sunday.
He died from his injuries, ABC News reported.
Detectives say a passerby spotted the man bleeding on the ground and immediately called 911.
Police have launched a homicide investigation. Police don't have any clear suspects just yet.
On Monday, they asked for the community's help identifying a man captured on video hopping a fence and running away from the park around the time when the incident took place, according to the report.
"We just need to figure out who that is, why they were in the area, what they may have seen and potentially any of their involvement in the incident," said Tracy Police Spokesperson Lt Trevin Freitas.
Singh was wearing a traditional Sikh turban as he always would for his walks twice a day.
Some residents are worried Singh may have been attacked because he was Sikh. Police said they cannot say if it was a hate crime.
"We can't say what it was right now. We're keeping all possibilities open. We have no information that would lead us to the motive of this crime. It is something that we can't disprove at this time and we're actively investigating all possibilities," Freitas said.
Harnek Singh Kang, the victim's son-in-law, said Singh immigrated to Tracy from India three years ago and was an active member of the Sikh community.
"We feel very safe in the country, so whatever happened, this is unacceptable," he said.
Singh had two kids and three grandkids. The attack has left the neighbourhood shaken. Neighbours said they are all deeply saddened by what happened.
"Absolutely stunned. This is a very safe neighbourhood, very decent area of Tracy," neighbour Dave Roychowdhury said.
"Nothing has ever happened like this here," he said.
Tracy Mayor Robert Rickman in a statement said, "We take pride in our safe, close-knit community.
The loss of one of our own to violence has shaken us to our core and is felt by the entire community.
"On behalf of the Tracy City Council, we offer our sincerest condolences to Mr Singh's family, friends and to the members of our Sikh community. This violence will not be tolerated and we are dedicating every available resource to ensuring that the person(s) responsible for the death of Mr Singh is brought to justice," Rickman said.
The Sikh community is in shock after the incident, CBS Local reported.
In an emergency meeting on Monday, the mayor and police chief talked with the Sikh community to calm fears and answer their questions.
The community is offering a USD 1000 reward for identifying the suspect.
There have been a number of attacks targeting Indian-Americans and Sikhs in the US in recent years.
In August last year, a Sikh man has been stabbed to death at his store in the US state of New Jersey In July last year, another Sikh man was attacked while putting up campaign signs in support of a Republican Congressman.