Family of Turlock homicide victim offer details on slain 21-year-old

pguerra@modbee.com etracy@modbee.com November 6, 2013 

— A young man killed early Wednesday in Turlock apparently called police as someone shot at him while he drove down Highway 99.

Turlock police are investigating after the man was found shot to death in a vehicle at Main Street near North Minaret Avenue on Wednesday morning.

Authorities said the California Highway Patrol called Turlock police at 1:25 a.m. to inform them that a male had called to report that the unknown occupant of a vehicle was shooting at him. At that point, the car was traveling southbound on Highway 99 near Taylor Road.

Police soon afterward received reports of shots fired in the area of Main Street and North Minaret, according to Lt. Nino Amirfar of the Turlock Police Department.

As officers were checking the area, they found the victim in a white car that apparently hit the curb next to a Lutheran church. Police have not released his identity but said he was 21 years old and lived in the Ceres-Modesto area.

Amirfar said it appeared the man had been driving west on East Main when someone shot at him near Pioneer Avenue. Police collected bullet casings in the area. Amirfar said the man was alone in the car.

About a dozen friends and family members gathered at the Modesto home where the victim lived with his brother, parents and a grandmother. Family identified the victim as Amritpal Sandhu.

The family moved to Modesto four years ago from India, said a family friend who asked to be referred to by only his first name, Sam.

“He was a hard worker,” Sam said. “He wanted to be a success in life.”

Sandhu worked as a delivery driver for a beverage company, Sam said. He ended his shift at midnight Tuesday and then arrived home early Wednesday. But family said he got a phone call and left home. They don’t know who called.

No suspects have been identified, but police said they have a description of a dark-colored sedan that was involved.

Police remained on the scene as dawn broke Wednesday, taking measurements and looking for evidence. Several roads in the area were closed as the investigation continued. The site is just a few blocks away from Turlock High and Sacred Heart schools; officials from both had been notified, Amirfar said.

Investigators ask anyone with information regarding the case to contact Detective Timothy Redd at (209) 668-5550, ext. 6625.

Breaking News Editor Patty Guerra can be reached at pguerra@modbee.com or (209) 578-2302. Follow her on Twitter @PattyGuerra. Bee staff writer Erin Tracy can be reached at etracy@modbee.com or (209) 578-2366. Follow her on Twitter @ModestoBeeCrime.

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