After a 30-year-old Indian student was shot to death at point-blank range in Alabama last week, police have now nabbed one suspect.
Neil Kumar, who was pursuing his Masterâ€™s in Computer Science at the University of Troy in Brundidge, Alabama was shot to death by an unknown assailant in an apparent robbery. The 30-year-old was a student at the Sharjah Indian School and a native of Thrissur in Kerala. Neil was working as a part time cashier at a Gulf Gas station convenience store on the busy Highway 10 when the robbery and shooting took place last Wednesday morning.
Senior police personnel of Pike county in Alabama promised to reveal the identity of the suspect in a press conference, according to reports.
Three CCTV visuals of the attack were released by the police personnel on Thursday. The visuals, carried by local newspapers, showed the assailant who is dressed in all black with white gloves and was carrying a gun. The time code on the CCTV visuals indicate that the suspect had been lurking around the area of the convenience store prior to the shooting. This suspicion was even raised by the Sheriff of Pike County who is investigating the homicide.
One of the visuals shows the assailant walking into the premises of the general store from behind a wooden fence. The time code in this visual shows 5.55 am, which was 5 minutes before Neil opened the shop at 6 am. At 6.07 am, another visual shows the assailant entering the shop and immediately targeting the cashierâ€™s desk where Neil was standing. The visuals suggest that the suspect was inside the shop for only about a minute. He can be seen leaving the shop at 6.08 am, after shooting Neil and taking the money.
According to reports, sources say that the suspect has a criminal background.
Officers have also told the media that this was the first time in years that Brundidge, which is the second biggest city in Pike County, has witnessed such a violent crime.
Born to parents Purushothaman Kumar and Seema, who are based in the UAE, Neil had been studying in the United States for a year after graduating from a Chennai college. His parents and sisters Neema and Natasha flew in to Alabama on hearing the news. Neilâ€™s funeral will be held on Monday afternoon in Alabama, in the presence of friends and family. Apart from computers, Neil also nurtured a passion for photography.
Several friends and classmates remember Neil as a happy person who left a lasting impression on whoever he met. The community at Troy University also held a memorial for their late classmate.