VTA shooting victim died helping others, just as his faith and culture taught him

While the investigation into the deadly VTA shooting continues, we are gaining new insight into those targeted in the attack. Family members of one of those killed are not surprised to hear that Taptejdeep Singh died trying to help others.

KTVU spoke with Taptejdeep Singh's brother on Thursday, he said part of his brother's Sikh culture and faith was to help others, something he did his whole life up to and including yesterday as he warned others to get away before the gunman targeted and shot him.

Taptejdeep Singh's family gathered in Union City, supporting his wife, three-year-old son and one-year-old daughter just one day after he was targeted in the VTA mass shooting. 

"Our whole family, there's a big hole. Like I said, he's the backbone of this family," said Karman Singh, Taptejdeep Singh's brother.

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Karman Singh said it's hard to overstate how devastating this loss is. "He treated me not just as his younger brother, but also his son. I never had to worry about anything. He was my backbone, he was my go-to person for everything," said Singh.

Karman Singh said that instinct to help, to protect others, was a central part of his brother's personality. "We have a big consideration towards a word we call sewa, which is selfless service to others," said Singh. "It's not binded toward your family, your color toward any religion, towards any community. It's to anybody who's in need."

Witnesses report that Singh rushed to protect his friends and coworkers, getting some into the safety of offices and warning others who would otherwise have come into the facility to stay away.

SEE ALSO: What we know about the VTA light rail gunman Sam Cassidy

Karman Singh said his heart breaks] knowing that his brother could have made it to safety, yet chose to stay and help others. "There was a comfort there, but there was also a rage. 'Why was his first instinct to tell others to get away? To get to safety, to help others?' Why didn't he just escape himself? I would have had my brother right now," said Singh. "But, at the same time, thanks to him, he saved a couple of people."

Now he says he will keep his brothers spirit alive in his niece and nephew. Singh's family said even as they endure the unimaginable, their thoughts are with those experiencing the same loss. 

"My heart goes out to those other eight families as well," said Karman Singh. "I can totally relate to what they feel because I feel the same way."

The Singh family says they are receiving the support of family and friends and the community and that is helping them to endure this personal loss and tragedy.

A GoFundMe has been established to support the Singh family.