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house where home invasion robbery took place

Neighborhood coming together after horrific crime

on August 29, 2011

A pre-dawn home-invasion robbery three days ago left a 67-year-old woman dead and a quiet neighborhood on edge, with neighbors and well-wishers left to wonder why.

“I never could have expected anything like this, I can’t even understand it,” said a woman who wished to identify herself only as “Lynn,” because she startled the suspects during the early Friday morning crime.

flowers for the family

(photo by Robert Rogers)

On Monday, the dark orange home with the perfectly-manicured yard at the end of the cul-de-sac of Moran Avenue sat quiet. Only an array of flowers and candles assembled on the porch by well-wishers served as markers of the horrors that occurred there before 4 a.m. Aug. 26.

Lynn said she was jolted awake by the barks of her small dogs that morning. When she came out of her house she saw one man sitting in an idling car across the street.

“I didn’t even hear the gunshots, but I know a lot of the other neighbors did,” she said.

Moments later, at least one other man fled the house on foot and the man in the car drove west on Moran Avenue, she said.

“The police were there in seconds,” Lynn said. “I saw them chasing one guy who was running and the other guy, his car was stopped, so I think they got him right then.”

In their wake, the suspects left Sushila Prasad, 67, dead and an adult man in the home seriously wounded.

Police have arrested a 21-year-old man on suspicion of murder. It was not clear Monday if they had any other suspects in custody.

Neighbors Monday described the victims as immigrants from Fiji who moved into the neighborhood about a year ago. In the house at the time of the attempted robbery were a man, his wife, two teenaged children and Prasad, their grandmother, police have said.

On Friday, less than 24-hours after the crime, leaders in the North & East Neighborhood Council organized a candlelight vigil outside of the house.

Neighbors said the family had worked hard in recent months to restore their home, which looked freshly-painted and landscaped Monday.

Anyone interested in helping the victims is encouraged to visit the North & East Neighborhood web site.

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