It was the gruesome discovery no loved one ever wants to come upon: a man found his cousin lying in a pool of her blood, dead in her Albany apartment.
Police say Randhir Kaur, 37 from India, died of a single gunshot wound. Officers responded around 4 p.m. Monday on the 1000 block of Kains Avenue in Albany, just a few blocks from police headquarters. They’re now investigating the city’s first homicide since 2004.
“I stopped by around five to pick up my son and there was police everywhere,” described Mutsubu Inayama, who lives across the street. “They were guarding the premises and clearly they were investigating for a really long time, hours and hours and hours.”
One neighbor who declined to be identified said she heard one gunshot Sunday around 9 p.m., a pause, and then another gunshot. At the time, she thought they were sounds of firecrackers.
Another neighbor, Deepak Sharma, said he knows the cousin who discovered Kaur.
“I know the family members, they’re very nice people. I’ve known them for the last ten years,” said Sharma. “They were so devastated, the family, because I heard also the brother was flying from India, as well. It was very devastating and our condolences as neighbors, as a community.”
Kaur was eight months into a two-year international dentist program at UCSF, which admits 24 foreign-trained dentists each year who study to become doctors of dental surgery.
“Happening to an Indian girl, they’re already facing so many problems in India,” said Sharma. “We come to the U.S. because it’s a safe place. This needs to go [out] as the message…nobody can get away from the law.”
He said it’s troubling in such a quiet neighborhood.
“The neighborhood is very good. It comes as a shock because my parents live here, I live here and they’re into their 70’s. We don’t want this to ever happen here,” said Sharma.
In a statement, UCSF called Kaur a “treasured member” of the school community.
“Our hearts go out to her family and friends at this very difficult time. Grief counseling support has been made available to all students, faculty and staff, and a memorial will be held to celebrate her life. We will miss her deeply."
Scott Maier, a UCSF spokesman, said there is no set date for the memorial yet.
The coroner’s office performed an autopsy Wednesday and will soon release the exact cause of death. Albany police still have no persons of interest or any suspects in custody.
Anyone with information about the homicide is asked to call Albany police at (510) 525-7300. Anonymous tips can also be made to Bay Area Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477 or by going to www.bayareacrimestoppers.org.