A pharmaceutical executive who had won money at a Pennsylvania casino was followed to his New Jersey home and then fatally shot in an attempted robbery, authorities said.
Sree Aravapalli, 54, was shot multiple times early Tuesday morning at his Plainsboro Township home, the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office said. Police received a call just before 3:30 am. about shots fired at the residence.
A suspect, Jekai Reid-John, 27, was arrested in Pennsylvania on a first-degree murder charge. Reid-John, of Norristown, Pennsylvania, remains jailed and is awaiting an extradition hearing.
The prosecutor’s office said Reid-John “targeted” Aravapalli in Pennsylvania and then followed him more than 30 miles to Plainsboro, an affluent township outside of Princeton. NBC New York reported that Aravapalli had cashed in roughly $10,000 at the Parx Casino in Bensalem before heading home.
Police told the news station that Reid-John didn’t know his victim but had watched him take off with his winnings. A camera at a farmstand caught Aravapalli’s car drive past closely followed by the suspect’s vehicle.
Aravapalli was downstairs in his home when Reid-John allegedly broke in through a back sliding door, according to NBC New York. Aravapalli’s wife and daughter were asleep upstairs. Police told the station that a camera at the same farmstand later caught one car headed back toward Pennsylvania.
A spokesperson for the Plainsboro Police Department could not immediately be reached on Saturday.
Police Chief Frederick Tavener offered his condolences to the Aravapalli family.
“This is an unexpected and alarming event for their family, friends and our entire community,” he said in a Facebook statement.
Prosecutors said Reid-John could face additional charges. It’s not clear if he has obtained an attorney.
Minyvonne Burke is a breaking news reporter for NBC News.