A 27-year-old Pennsylvania man is facing extradition to New Jersey to face a murder charge after following the victim from a casino to his home some 50 miles away. Jekai Reid-John of Norristown allegedly tailed the man from Pennsylvania’s Parx Casino to Plainsboro, N.J. where he was shot and later died.
Early on Tuesday, Reid-John wounded Sree Aravapalli, 54, during the robbery, according to police. It is unclear how much, if any, of the approximately $10,000 won at the casino was stolen from Aravapalli.
Just hours before the shooting, Reid-John allegedly watched Aravapalli leave the Bensalem, Pa. gaming property with the night’s winnings. Reid-John followed Aravapalli until the victim eventually stopped at his house.
Reid-John allegedly followed him and entered the residence via a sliding door. Aravapalli was downstairs when several shots were fired and he suffered “multiple gunshot wounds,” prosecutors said in a statement. A car sped off after the gunfire, a neighbor told police. Aravapalli was rushed by ambulance to a local hospital. Soon after arriving, he was declared dead.
Aravapalli reportedly worked for a pharmaceutical company. He was the father of two children. Aravapalli’s wife and teenage daughter were sleeping upstairs in the house when the shooting took place, reports said.
Reid-John was charged on Wednesday with first-degree murder. More charges are possible, according to local media reports. He was being held in Pennsylvania’s Montgomery County jail late this week.
Word of Warning
A mourner at Aravapalli’s funeral had words of caution given the tragic events.
“In the daytime, you can at least figure out that somebody is following you. But at night, no, never,” Vivek Taneja told WNBC, a New York TV station.
I’ve been to Vegas, Atlantic City, but no, I never thought that somebody would follow me,” Taneja said. “I think I need to be watchful all the time, not just at casinos.”
Following the shooting, Plainsboro Police Chief Frederick Tavener said in a statement, “I want to offer my sincerest condolences to the Aravapalli family for their tragic loss. This is an unexpected and alarming event for their family, friends, and our entire community.”
Casino.org reached out to the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office for more details. Assistant Prosecutor Conner J.E. Ouellette said the ongoing investigation required limited public comment.
Recent Pennsylvania Homicide
Earlier this month, a 30-year-old man allegedly fatally knifed a Bethlehem, Pa. man. The victim, Elson Aviles, 35, was driving back from the Wind Creek Bethlehem casino and was seriously wounded by the passenger, police revealed.
Aviles was taken to a local hospital for treatment. But he died a short time later after surgery, according to Lehighvalleylive.com, a regional news site.
Shortly after the attack, Jose Luis Leon was charged with criminal homicide.
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