An Indian-American pharmacy owner was shot dead, allegedly, by a black teenager after he refused to give a medicine to the boy without a valid prescription.
52 year old Arjun Reddy Dyapa, owner of Brunswick Avenue Pharmacy in Broad Street, was shot in the chest and brought dead to Capital Health Regional Medical Centre across the pharmacy around 6.30 pm local time last evening. Eye witnesses said a teenage African-American with dreadlocks showed up at the counter and demanded a prescription medicine without producing valid prescription issued by a physician.
Dyapa politely refused and said sorry, but when the customer insisted that he be given the medicine, he told the boy that he would lose his licence if he obliges him. The customer, at that time, seemed to have resigned to the fate and nodded his head, said Dyapa's staff. The boy left only to return again and fired one bullet at Dyapa from his pistol from behind.
The police have taken the video camera recordings and are confident of nabbing the criminal very soon.
Dyapa, a native of Jadcherala village in Mehboobnagar district of Andhra Pradesh, is survived by wife Geetha and a 16-year-old daughter. Dyapa was an active community activist and one of the founders of North American Telugu Association (NATA) and also a senior leader of American Telugu Association (ATA).
He was involved with several social and cultural organisations in New Jersey.
Steve Ettman, who owns Westside Pharmacy on Hermitage Avenue, said he was "absolutely shocked" by the news. He is offering a USD 1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the killer.
"This could happen to any of us and Reddy was a nice guy, ever helpful," he said. The shocked Indian-American community leaders gathered at the hospital to console the family and assist in the identification of the culprit.