Vashmi Reddy was in the United States on a student visa hoping to land a job as an engineer to support his family in India. Authorities said Reddy appears to be an innocent victim gunned down in an apartment complex in Milpitas last Friday. His body returned to his grieving family in India.
“It’s very bad,” said Dona Saikumar, Reddy’s college friend. “We lost one of our friends. He’s from an economically poor background.”
Saikumar and Reddy are from a small village in India. Both attended Silicon Valley University in San Jose. Vashmi graduated in December with a computer science degree, planning to take care of his parents in India.
“His parents worked hard to send him here,” said Saikumar. “They had a lot of dreams with the son so it's very bad.”
Last Friday night, those dreams abruptly ended. Friends said the 26-year-old was returning home from dinner to Llara Apartments in Milpitas, when he crashed into a car in the parking garage. The man behind the wheel was running from police.
“The suspect asked him to get out of his car,” said Saikumar. “The suspect shot Vashmi. He took his car and ran from the place,” said Saikumar.
Milpitas Police said Reddy was shot at least once and died, marking the city's first homicide of the year.
“It’s very tragic,” said Lt. Raj Maharaj of Milpitas Police. “There's a young man who came to the United States to go to school and he's killed for no apparent reason.”
Police caught up with the suspect, later identified as 30-year-old Stuart Baronnague from Fremont. Police said they were looking for Baronnague after he held another woman at gunpoint and stole her car earlier in the night.
News reports from India on YouTube show the family's heartache. With help from the Indian General Consulate in San Francisco and nearly $60,000 raised on a YouCaring site, Reddy’s body was returned to India to a family that will never be the same.
Friends are still raising money on to support the family in India since he was the only son. If you’d like to help, here’s the link.