As the killers of Shani Patel is still at large, the police in Newark, New Jersey are offering a $10,000 for information leading to the capture of the murderers. Shani Patel, 21, an Indian American student majoring in economics who was in his junior year at Rutgers, was fatally shot around 10 p.m. on April 10, in his Toms River, New Jersey, apartment. His 23-year-old roommate, a Rutgers graduate, was also shot, and was transported to University Hospital where he underwent a surgery. He was previously listed in critical condition and no updates have been announced.
According to reports, a suspect, Marcus Feliz, was captured on April 13 and charged with homicide and robbery. Feliz – who is being held on $750,000 bail – has pleaded not guilty to both charges. Menawhile, the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office has said another suspect believed to be involved in the killing of Patel, Fraynned Ramirez, 26, of Hartford, Conn., is still at large. Ramirez has been charged with murder, felony murder and robbery, in connection with Patel’s death. Ramirez is presumed to be armed and dangerous, according to the prosecutor’s office. Neither Felix nor Ramirez are students at Rutgers, according to nj.com.
Police believe the shooting was related to drugs. A substantial amount of drugs and money were found in Patel’s apartment as police investigated the scene of the crime, and police believe the shooting occurred in the course of a robbery attempt.
A memorial page has been set up for Patel on Facebook. Friends also held a memorial service for him. “I write with the sad news that last night we lost one of our students,” Rutgers chancellor Nancy Cantor wrote in an email to students. “There is an active, ongoing investigation by the Newark Police Department of a crime that took place at a private residence located off campus.”
Cantor went on to write, “While law enforcement is still investigating and we understand that it was not a random act that led to Shani’s death, it is a shock to lose a member of our community under any circumstances. Our deepest condolences go out to Shani’s family and to all who knew him as a student, colleague or friend.”
“It’s really sad to see that this has happened to him, very sad,” said Patel’s lawyer Billhimer in an AP report. “He was an economics major and was interested in becoming an entrepreneur. He was always talking about having his own business. He was a very smart young man. He was a nice kid.”