He won big at a casino – and was murdered by a stranger who pulled him home, police say

Dough4872, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Dough4872, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

A drug director’s lucky night at a casino in Pennsylvania ended in complete tragedy when he was shot and killed inside his home in New Jersey by a stranger who had followed him home from the gaming hall, authorities said.

Jekai Reid-John has been charged with first-degree murder in connection with the killing of Sree Aravapalli, 54, who was killed Tuesday after a night of major victories reportedly over $ 10,000 at the Parx Casino outside Philadelphia.

In a news release Middlesex County prosecutors said this week that 27-year-old Reid-John “targeted Aravapalli in Pennsylvania and followed him home to his Plainsboro residence,” killing him during a robbery attempt.

As Aravapalli climbed into his car to walk home from the casino with his winnings, Reid jumped into his car and began his deadly pursuit, following him for about 50 miles to Aravapalli’s home, authorities said.

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Detectives said surveillance footage from a farmhouse shows the suspect’s car following closely behind Aravapalli’s vehicle early Tuesday. According to the recordings, reported by WNBC, only one of the cars can be seen taking the return trip to Pennsylvania.

Authorities said Reid-John broke into the residence through a sliding door at the back of the house, which has since been encapsulated, and then shot Aravapalli several times just after noon. 3, when his wife and daughter slept upstairs.

Police responded to a report of gunfire fired at 3:38 a.m. and discovered that Aravapalli had “sustained multiple gunshot wounds.” He was pronounced dead after being transported to a local hospital.

“It’s crazy,” said Sheeza Khan, Aravapalli’s neighbor KYW-TV. “I mean, incredible. How can anyone follow him all the way and come here and kill him at night? It’s so shocking.”

Reid-John was taken into police custody in Pennsylvania prior to an extradition hearing to be brought back to New Jersey pending a remand in custody, prosecutors said.

“We are deeply saddened by the report that a customer at Parx Casino earlier this week fell victim to a homicide after returning from a visit to the casino.” It wrote Parx CEO Eric Hausler in a statement, confirming that Aravapalli had been a customer of the casino the night he was murdered. “Our sincere condolences go out to the victim’s family and friends during this incredibly difficult time.”

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