New Description of Truck That Followed and Shot Florida Sikh
Gurdwara Sets up the Kanwaljit Singh Fund
By Anju Kaur, SikhNN staff writer, Washington Bureau
Posted: Thursday, March 07, 2013 | 05:13 pm
The vehicle involved in the shooting of Kanwaljit Singh of Port Orange, Florida, is a Chevrolet S-10 or GMC Sonoma-style truck, which differs from the initial description of the larger Ford truck that was circulated earlier, police said today.
Port Orange police detectives have obtained multiple surveillance videos showing Kanwaljit Singh’s car being followed by the suspect truck from International Speedway Boulevard in Daytona Beach to the area where the shooting occurred on Dunlawton Bridge, the March 6 police report says.
Kanwaljit Singh was followed for about 10 miles, Capt. David Meyer told SikhNN. He had closed his new convenience store and was heading home.
Just before midnight on Feb. 23, police responded to a 911 call from Kanwaljit Singh saying he had been shot.
According to the first police report on Feb 26, the shooting occurred on the bridge while Kanwaljit Singh was driving westbound. The suspect truck pulled alongside his 2005 Ford Focus and fired multiple shots. Six were found in the driver’s side of the car. Two hit Kanwaljit Singh, one in the thigh and one in the lower torso.
The truck attempted to turn around and come after him again, said Navtej Singh Khalsa, Southeast regional director for the Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund, and a family friend from the same area, in a previous interview. But it then fled westbound on Dunlawton Avenue and then turned southbound on Halifax Drive.
Kanwaljit Singh’s 13-year-old son was in the passenger seat and watched the entire incident unfold. He was not hurt.
The initial description was based on information received by the victim’s son, but it was during a “tense moment when everything was going on,” Meyer said. “The son is (now) in agreement (after) seeing the videos.”
Separate videos show a single-cab, dark blue or black truck, Meyer said. They also show that the license plate is on the right rear bumper, not as typically positioned in the center of the bumper, the police report says.
The surveillance video obtained from the police and published on SikhNN shows the light colored 2005 Ford Focus, the second car to drive by, followed by the truck, a few seconds later.
Kanwaljit Singh pulled over on the shoulder of the bridge and realized he had been shot, the earlier police report says. He called 911 at approximately 11:50 p.m. as he drove to the 200 block of Dunlawton Avenue where he pulled off to the side of the road. He was transported to Halifax Hospital in Daytona Beach.
Kanwaljit Singh came home on Tuesday. He is still recovering from the surgeries, and taking some calls from media. They are mostly doing “human interest stories,” Navtej Singh said today. Navtej Singh also was part of a broadcast news story and took the opportunity to educate the public about Sikhs, he said.
Kanwaljit Singh’s wife is now running their convenience story, but only limited hours. His son also tries to help.
“She is concerned about their financial wellbeing,” Navtej Singh added. They do not have any health insurance. And with her husband unable to work, it is difficult to make ends meet.
“They had invested quite a bit into store,” he said. They just opened it about two weeks earlier. The local gurdwara, the Sikh Society of Central Florida, in Oviedo, has started a fund for the family.
Police are investigating this as a possible hate crime and believe that Kanwaljit Singh was shot because of his religiously mandated unshorn beard and turban. The FBI is assisting the Port Orange Police Department in the investigation.
Any information on this vehicle or crime can be forwarded to Detective Jeff Wenzel at (386) 506-5884 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To make a donation to the family, send a check to:
The Sikh Society of Central Florida
2527 W. State Road 426
Oviedo, FL 32765
c/o Kanwaljit Singh Fund