“Atwal left behind his children and grandchildren and his friends. They’ve all been very brave,” [Amar] Shergill said. “There’s no way to rationalize or explain why they’re victims of such a horrible event.”
Gurmej Atwal was the second victim of the shootings in Elk Grove, California last month. His friend, Surinder Singh, was killed at the scene. The investigation is now for a double homicide and police are looking for a male shooter and a tan-colored Ford F150 pick up truck. No motive has been established, but many suspect that this was a hate crime.
Prior to Gurmej Atwal’s passing, Elk Grove Patch did a story on his family and that of Surinder Singh. You can view the video on their website. Sadly, the optimism expressed by his family about Gurmej Atwal’s recovery was not to come to fruition.
Sikhs across the country and around the world have taken the deaths of these men to heart. Many of this year’s Vaisakhi celebrations – usually a festive and joyous celebration for Sikhs – in California and beyond have taken on the additional purpose of responding to these crimes by reaching out and educating their communities about who Sikhs are.