Two Indian-origin brothers killed in US; compatriot arrested

Houston: Two Indian-origin brothers were shot dead by a compatriot in the US state of Oregon in a case of possible homicide, police and media reports said.

The incident occurred on Wednesday when the accused, 21-year-old Jobanpreet Singh, shot and killed two men in their 20s in a strip mall in Portland city, KGW news channel reported.

The identities of the victims were not released by the police.

However, Kamal Singh, an owner of a tobacco shop across the mall, said he believed the two victims were his cousins. The two men were brothers and in their 20s, Singh said.

“We just talked this morning,” he said of his cousins. “My employee called and said something was wrong. There’d been a shooting,” The Oregonian newspaper quoted him as saying.

Jobanpreet Singh was detained at the scene on two counts of first-degree murder and booked into a detention centre, police said on Thursday.

He made a brief appearance in court for an arraignment, entering an initial plea of not guilty on both murder charges, the local media reported.

Tanus Allen, who works at a company across the street, said he was sitting in the store when he heard some type of argument and yelling.

“Then all of a sudden, I heard shots and I looked up and I saw the two men fall,” he said.

The killings bring the city’s homicide toll to 30 so far this year, compared with 35 at this time last year, according to the report.