Hitender Thakur of Mandi shot dead by robber in Harrisburg, PA, USA

Hitender Thakur


1983 – 2006

Statement of HACC President


Updates from PAUCA Update 5/30/06

News footage 1

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I wanted to update you all with all that happened last week since some of you are not aware of all the happenings.

PAUCA would like to thank all of the efforts put in by various individuals who worked hard to arrange for Hitender’s body to be flown to India on Saturday. Without this team work, his family would have not been able to receive the body within 5 days of his demise. A special thank you to Mr. Robert William, Interim Director, Office of Multicultural Affairs, HACC, for obtaining the required papers from the local offices in Harrisburg and from the Indian Embassy in Washington DC. PAUCA Mgmt is proud to have so many members who worked tirelessly in expediting all the arrangements. A special thanks to Mr. Juzer Rangoonwala for leading us during this tragic moment. We thank everyone else, especially Hitender’s Friends… Without their physical presence on those two days and their hard work, this would not have been possible. We have heard from Hitender’s father that his family would like to thank everyone for their efforts.

PAUCA had set up a Thakur Fund to collect contributions specifically to make arrangements for Hitender’s body to be flown back home. A Big Thank You for your contributions. We will continue to collect money until Thursday, June 1 st 5:00 PM. We will be disbursing the funds on Friday. PAUCA will not be collecting funds after Thursday.

We will send out an email of how much we collected and the expenses we incurred.

If you wish to contribute after 1st June please contribute to the “HACC Thakur Fund” setup by HACC. Please contact HACC for more information.


Anzar Qazi
PAUCA President

Updates from PAUCA Update 5/29/06 11:00 AM

Hitender’s body was cremated today in his hometown Mandi, India. A simple memorial service will be held today at 7 PM in Harrisburg. Please call one of us if you would like to attend. Please click here to get our contact information.

HACC Update

The senseless and violent act that took the life of one of HACC’s students, Hitender Thakur, 23, last week continues to shock our community.

Mr. Deep Gupta, Chair of the Advisory Committee of the Asian Indian Association of Central Pennsylvania, has announced that a service will be held for Hitender Thakur at the HARI Temple (HARI – Hindu American Religious Institute) located in New Cumberland.

The service will be held Wednesday May 31 and will begin at 7:00 p.m. I would allow an hour and a half for the service. The service is open to anyone so feel free to extend this invitation to others.

I would like to invite you to come and attend this service. This tragedy has impacted the Asian Indian community and the HACC family very deeply. Dr. Baehre, HACC President, will be attending.

Follow I-83 South (York) to Exit 39 A (Lewisberry Road)
After exit, make left at stop sign for Route 114 West, go about 1/3 mile.
Make left on Steigerwalt Hollow Road, go about ½ mile to HARI temple on right.

Hindu American Religious Institute
301 Steigerwalt Hollow Road
New Cumberland, PA 17070
Phone: 717-774-7750

Robert William, MPA
Interim Director
Office of Multicultural Affairs
Harrisburg Area Community College

Harrisburg Contact Information:
COOPER Room 107A
One HACC Drive
Harrisburg, PA 17110-2999
Office 717-780-3276
Fax 717-231-7674
E-mail: [email protected]

Lancaster Contact Information:
MAIN Room 105D
1641 Old Philadelphia Pike
Lancaster, PA 17602-2690
Tel: 717-358-2263
FAX: 717-358-2951
E-mail: [email protected]

My personal mission statement for working at HACC….An opportunity to change lives, transform our community, and impact our world!
Update 5/28/06 3:00 PM

Hitender’s body and Narendar have reached New Delhi. They are on their way to Hitender’s home town of Mandi, Himachal Pradesh in north India. It is a 12 hour journey by road. We believe all the final ceremonies and the cremation will occur tomorrow. PAUCA will provide you with an update as we receive more information.

Thanks to all those who have contributed generously towards the Hitender Thakur Fund. We are still short of the total expenditure incurred. Any monetary help will be appreciated.
Update 5/27/06 Hitender will be flown back home today, Saturday May 27th, at 8:45 pm via Continental Flight 82, from Newark to New Delhi. His body will be escorted by Narendar Atwal.To make contributions by Check, please make checks Payable to PAUCA at –
C/O Venkat Ramachandran
4113 Kimbers Road
Harrisburg, PA 17112

him1.jpgWailing family members of Hitender Singh, who was shot dead in the USA on May 25, at their residence in Mandi on Saturday. — Photo by Mahesh Chander Sharma http://www.tribuneindia.com/


Victim remembered

Clerk’s death in $100 robbery shocks community
Friday, May 26, 2006
Of The Patriot-News

Hitender Thakur normally worked the afternoon shift at City Gas and Diesel but switched shifts with a friend so Thakur could attend classes at Harrisburg Area Community College until 9 p.m. Wednesday.An hour after class ended, Thakur, who was studying to become a nurse and wanted to work with the World Health Organization, started his shift at the all-night convenience store at 16th and State streets. Three hours later, Thakur, 22, of Mandi, India, was dead.”We saw him at 10 o’clock, and he relieved us and said, ‘See you tomorrow,’” said Narender Atwal, a friend, also from India, who worked with Thakur at the store. “And then in the morning we got a call, and there he is. He is no more.”

Harrisburg police, who viewed a videotape of the holdup from security cameras, said the robber pointed a handgun at Thakur through an open window in the glass that surrounds the counter as protection for the clerk.Thakur bent over and tried to shut the window. The gunman fired, striking Thakur in the chest. Then the robber jumped over the counter through the open window, emptied the cash register and ran from the store.

Because Thakur was alone, there was nobody to call the police or an ambulance.Minutes later, a customer found Thakur’s body behind the counter and called for help.Police said they have few leads. The gunman is described as a black man with a thin build, shorter than 6 feet, wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and blue jeans.

County Coroner Graham Hetrick said Thakur was killed by a single bullet from a small-caliber handgun. The bullet tore through Thakur’s chest at a downward angle because he was bending over to shut the window. It struck his heart and nicked his aorta, Hetrick said.The coroner said Thakur probably “bled out” rapidly from the wound.The robber netted a little more than $100.”It’s another tragic waste of life,” Hetrick said. “It was just one bullet, but unfortunately, it was a terribly lethal shot. My belief is it comes down to money for drugs.”

“He should’ve taken the money” and not shot Thakur, said store owner Nirmal Singh Gill.After police took photos and looked for evidence inside the store, Gill and his family locked the front door.Almost everyone who stopped at the store in the morning wanted to know which clerk had been killed. Customers from the neighborhood and one from as far as Union Deposit gathered outside, talking about the clerks as if they were family.”I know them pretty good,” said George Johnson of 17th and York streets. “I thought I’d come over and say something.”

Three ladies who work next door in the Lincoln School cafeteria stopped by the store to try to comfort Gill’s family and say how sorry they were to hear the news.

Atwal said Thakur was pleasant to all the customers.”It’s unbelievable because [Thakur] was so friendly with all of them,” Atwal said. “It’s basically the neighborhood. He was so friendly with all the old people. He would sing songs. We had a little tape recorder over there. We would tape record songs, and he would sing songs in our language. The other people wouldn’t understand it, but they didn’t care because he was always so lively and so happy. And always laughing and cracking jokes with everybody.”

“He was just a baby, a sweetheart, a really nice kid,” said Lucille Anders who lives on State Street across from the store. “He used to flirt with the girls. All the girls loved him. He sure didn’t deserve to go out like this.”

Anders said she moved here from New York City three years ago.This was the fourth shooting in the area since she moved here, the first fatality, Anders said.
City police spokesman Randy King said he didn’t know for sure how many shootings there were, but it could be four.Atwal, a Penn State Harrisburg student, said such violence is unknown in India.”I can’t even think of any robbery where a friend of mine or a person I knew died,” Atwal said. “If there’s a shooting, it’s probably between a gang or something. The mafia or whatever. There are never armed robberies where people get killed at stores. …

“We don’t have that fear until something like this happens,” Atwal said. “I used to hear stories from other people. Like some Indian guy died in a gas station [holdup] in Atlanta or whatever. We’d be like, ‘Oh man, that’s bad, that’s bad,’ but we didn’t know it would happen to people like us, right now.”

Staff writer Pete Shellem contributed to this report. TOM BOWMAN: 255-8271 or [email protected]

9271966_320X240.jpg A robbery in Harrisburg turned deadly early Thursday morning, police said. Harrisburg Mayor Stephen Reed said store video shows the killer pointing a handgun at Thakur through an open window at the counter. Thakur attempted to slam the window shut when the gunman fired, striking Thakur in the chest.

9274111_320X240.jpg “Even though there’s a clerk there and security glass there for the individual, I think they still need to maybe have some type of security,” said Capt. Pierre Ritter of the Harrisburg Police Department

9274109_320X240.jpgHarrisburg police said a robber shot and killed a 23-year-old store clerk around 1:15 a.m. at the City Gas and Diesel Store at 16th and State Streets.
All photos http://www.wgal.com/news/9271493/detail.html
Local Cricket club PAUCA has setup a fund:


PAUCA deeply mourns the sudden demise of Hitender Thakur (HCC). May his soul rest in peace.
As you may have seen in the news, Hitender Thakur was shot dead in a store robbery incident approximately at 1:15 AM on 5/26/2006. Thakur was a great sportsman and a beloved friend. While all of his family is back in India, Thakur has great friends here. PAUCA has setup a Thakur Fund to collect contributions to help in arranging his body to be sent to India. You can make contributions by sending money to our paypal account ([email protected]). For other ways to send your contribution, please contact one of the PAUCA Management Team members.

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