Washington, Dec 28 (IANS) The US authorities have booked two men for gunning down a 22-year-old Indian student in a robbery on Christmas morning at a convenience store in Texas where he was working part time.
Daniel Jacob Stiner, 22, and Michael Ray Morris, 29, both from Pasadena, Texas, were charged Monday in the fatal shooting of Jayachandra Elaprolu inside the convenience store in the town, the Houston Chronicle reported.
Elaprolu, from Vijayawada city of Andhra Pradesh, was pursuing Master's in computer engineering at the University of Houston-Clear Lake. He was shot five times Saturday.
Police said Stiner surrendered and took investigators to the Conroe area, where he said he would recover the mask he used in the violent "blitz" robbery, executed in 20 seconds. He also promised to get the $400 he stole from the store till.
The other accused, Morris, said he was a customer in the store when the crime was committed, police said. He complained to police and a local TV channel that he was wrongly implicated in the shooting, much of which was captured on surveillance video.
But police believe Morris acted as a scout who twice went inside the store to scope out the scene, Bud Corbett, assistant police chief in Pasadena, was quoted as saying.
Officials said Morris, who police said is a friend of Stiner's, went into the store the first time and made a purchase. He returned, obtained change from Elaprolu, and exited again.
Police said Stiner, wearing a mask and carrying a semi-automatic pistol, then entered the store and immediately opened fire, striking Elaprolu at least five times as he tried to retreat to a back room. Stiner fled, carrying the lightweight cash till, police said.
Elaprolu was wounded in the stomach, liver, upper torso, intestine and heart. He died on the spot.