- Om Brahmbhatt, 23, of South Plainfield, New Jersey, killed his grandparents and uncle at a condo they all shared.
An Indian American man has been arrested and charged for shooting and killing three members of his family at a New Jersey condo they all shared. Om Brahmbhatt, 23, of South Plainfield, was charged with three counts of first-degree murder for killing his grandparents — Dilipkumar Brahmbhatt, 72, and Bindu Brahmbhatt, 72 — and his uncle Yashkumar Brahmbhatt, 38, according to a press release from the Middlesex County prosecutor’s office.
The grandparents were “pronounced deceased at the scene,” the press release said, adding that Yashkumar Brahmbhatt “sustained multiple gunshot wounds and was transported to the hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries.”
Citing a criminal complaint, NJ Advance Media reported that investigators said Om Brahmbhatt was the one who dialed 911 and reported the shooting. He was waiting for the police when they arrived and then suggested he could be the killer, police said, according to the report. He bought the gun online, the complaint added.
In a Facebook post, Yashkumar Brahmbhatt’s wife said Dilipkumar and Bindu were her in-laws and asked for prayers for her late husband, with whom she had a 4-year-old son.
According to a report in Times of India, Dilipkumar Brahmbhatt, who had earlier served as a police subinspector in Bilimora town of Navsari district in Gujarat, had settled in Anand after retiring from the service. He and his wife had moved to the U.S. recently to stay with their son Yash. Om had relocated to the U.S. just about 18 months ago on the insistence of his maternal grandfather, the Times of India report said.
The motive for the family tragedy remains unclear
Neighbor Jonathan Plaster told PIX11 News that he was home, sitting in his bed when one of the bullets came tearing through his wall. “I yelled because there was now a hole in my apartment, but nobody yelled back,” he said. “At first, I thought that one of my batteries had exploded. It sounded like a firework to be honest.”
Another neighbor, Jayesh Karia told PIX11 News that said the couple in their 70s and their adult son had just allowed Om to move in as he was attending school and needed a place to stay.
Om Brahmbhatt is in custody at the Middlesex County Adult Correctional Center. He is charged with three counts of first-degree murder and three counts of second-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose. He made his first court appearance yesterday (Nov. 28). His detention hearing will be held either on Dec. 1 or Dec. 5, a spokeswoman told NJ Advance Media.