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$10,000 Casino Winnings Cost Sree Ranga Aravapalli His Life as He was Followed, Robbed, Shot and Killed in His Home

$10,000 Casino Winnings Cost Sree Ranga Aravapalli His Life as He was Followed, Robbed, Shot and Killed in His Home

  • The 54-year-old father of two was returning from the Parx Casino in Bensalem, Pennsylvania, early Oct. 26 morning, when the suspect, 27-year-old Jekai Reid-John, followed him to New Jersey.

The Indian American man who died of gunshot wounds during a robbery attempt at his home in Plainsboro, New Jersey, was remembered by friends and co-workers as a smart, well-researched and passionate businessman, during his live-streamed funeral on Oct. 28. Sree Ranga Aravapalli, 54, was returning from Parx Casino in Bensalem, Pennsylvania, on Oct. 26 early morning, when 27-year-old Jekai Reid-John, targeted him. He then followed the father of two for 50 miles, to his home, and shot him during an attempted robbery, “with his wife and teenage daughter sleeping just steps away,” NBC News reported. 

According to the NBC report, Aravapalli, a pharma executive, was spotted cashing “some $10,000 or so in winnings” at the casino, before heading home. Citing police, the NBC report added that John-Reid didn’t know Aravapalli, “but watched him take off with his winnings.” A camera at a nearby farm stand caught two cars passing by early on Oct. 26 morning, police told NBC.

Aravapalli was still downstairs when Reid allegedly broke in through a back sliding door. A few minutes after Aravapalli was shot, police told NBC that the farm stand camera captured just one car heading back. 

Local news reports say that when the Plainsboro police reached Aravapalli’s home a little after 3:30 a.m., they found him with multiple gunshot wounds. He was transported to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead. 

“It’s crazy,” Sheeza Khan, Aravapalli’s neighbor, told CBS. “I mean, unbelievable. Like how can somebody follow him all the way, and come here and kill him in the night? It’s so shocking.”

Reid-John was arrested in Pennsylvania on Oct. 26 itself and was charged with murder, according to a press release from the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office. More charges are expected in the case, the release added. He was detained by police in Pennsylvania and incarcerated at the Montgomery County jail, awaiting extradition proceedings to New Jersey. “Upon his arrival in New Jersey, he will be lodged at the Middlesex County Adult Correction Center, pending a pre-trial hearing in Superior Court,” the prosecutor’s office said.

A report, citing court papers, said that a surveillance video provided by the casino showed two people being around Aravapalli on Oct 26, the night he was at the casino. The papers also noted that one of them used a debit card at the casino with a receipt in the name of Jekai Reid-John. The report described Reid-John to have tattoos on his hand. He was wearing a light brown hooded sweatshirt and a blue surgical mask. 

Along with the surveillance video, EZ pass records were also presented in the court, according to the report. They showed that when Aravapalli entered the Pennsylvania Turnpike, he was followed by a white BMW with a temporary Delaware license plate, “aftermarket wheels and a black spoiler. “Aravapalli got off the Turnpike at 3:20 a.m. and the white BMW got off at the same time and at the same exit,” reported, citing court documents.

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After investigators arrived at Reid-John’s Norristown home, they found a white BMW with Pennsylvania registration linked to Reid-John, parked in front, court papers say, according to In the car, “police spotted a trash bag and a pair of Dior B23 high-top sneakers in the back seat matching the description of the shoes worn by the person of interest at the casino,” the report added. 

When police were investigating in the parking lot of the Norristown address, they saw a black Acura TLX, with a Delaware temporary registration, drive through the condominium complex lot, and turn around quickly after spotting the officers, the report said. The police then conducted a traffic stop of the vehicle driven by a woman who was identified as Reid-John’s girlfriend, according to court documents. Reid-John was the front seat passenger. 

According to the report, the girlfriend gave a statement to police that Reid-John was gone all night on Oct. 25, with the white BMW and returned early on Oct. 26. Reid-John provided an audio and video statement to police in which he said he was driving the vehicle on Oct. 25 and went to the casino where he purchased food. But when questioned about what happened after he left the casino, he asked for a lawyer, the report said, citing court papers. 

After Reid-John’s arrest, investigators searched his car and “found clothing matching the description of what the suspect was wearing at the casino, as well as a temporary registration tag in the garbage bag,” the report said, citing court papers. “Police also located a loaded 9 mm handgun,” the report added. 

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