When Akshaypreet Singh left for the United States three years ago, his relatives in Punjab's Mattewal village believed he was headed for a better future in the prosperous West. That dream came to an abrupt end on Saturday when the 21-year-old was killed while trying to stop a man from robbing one of his father's shops in Mississippi.
Akshaypreet Singh had noticed a man stealing from his shop on a CCTV monitor and attempted to stop him. A scuffle followed, and the thief shot him point blank.
"The news of Akshaypreet's killing reached here at a time when we were in a jubilant mood, following the birth of a son to his elder brother Lovepreet," Sohan Singh, the victim's uncle, said on Tuesday.
Akshaypreet Singh had left for the United States to help his father, Bakshish Singh, with his business interests there. The two jointly managed three stores in Mississippi and its neighbouring areas.
According to Sohan Singh, the family received the long-distance phone call from Bakshish Singh while they were at a hospital after the birth of Lovepreet's son. "Bakshish told me that Akshaypreet saw someone shoplifting from their store on the shop's CCTV. He got shot trying to stop him," he said.
Akshaypreet Singh, who suffered three gunshot wounds, died immediately. He was alone in the shop when the incident occurred, his uncle said.
According to Sohan Singh, Akshaypreet Singh was unmarried and his family was still trying to find a suitable match for him. "Akshaypreet's elder brother Lovepreet was married in India. His mother still stays in their ancestral home here," he said.
(With inputs from PTI)