Update: Balbir Singh Sodhi Remembered

August 28, 2002

Source: The Associated Press

On August 28, 2002, The Associated Press reported that "a small wooden cross, an American flag and pink and yellow flowers stand in front of a suburban Phoenix gas station as testimony to a family and community's grief...    Americans were still reeling from the Sept. 11 attacks when shots rang out on this Mesa street corner four days later, killing station owner Balbir Singh Sodhi. As in the attacks, the sorrow over Sodhi's death remains strong nearly a year later... Authorities say Sodhi, an Indian immigrant, was shot on Sept. 15 simply because he wore a turban as part of his Sikh faith...    Prosecutors have accused Mesa resident Frank Roque, 42, of killing Sodhi as part of a violent rampage during which he is also accused of shooting at a Lebanese-American clerk at another gas station and firing into the home of a family of Afghani descent. Roque is scheduled for trial in November and prosecutors are seeking the death penalty... About 3,000 people attended a Sept. 22 memorial service for Sodhi at the Phoenix Civic Plaza.    Now, Sodhi's family is preparing to mark the anniversary of his death with a Sept. 14 vigil at a Mesa park about a mile from where he was shot... Relatives are also dealing with the shooting death in August of Sodhi's brother in San Francisco...  Police say Sukhpal Singh Sodhi, 50, a taxi driver, wasn't the victim of a hate crime, but was killed in a random act."