WASHINGTON- Tons of teddy bears, flowers, pictures, balloons and signs that read, “We All Miss You,” line the front of a small check cashing store on the 2300 block of Benning Road, N.E., where a well-known merchant was slain over the weekend.

On June 17, the block was swamped with cars, as the First District and DC Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department responded to reports of a shooting at the store.

At 10:44 am, police found 30-year-old Prabhjot Singh lying in front of his family owned business, suffering from a single gunshot wound. Singh, known to the community as “Roger,” was transported to the Washington Hospital Center’s Med Star Unit where he was pronounced dead. Detectives assigned to the Metropolitan Police Department’s Homicide Branch are investigating the slaying.

An observer of the shooting said that Singh, originally of Accokeek, Md., tussled with the robbers after they hit his father in the head with a gun. Singh and the robbers fought until they were outside the shop where he was later shot. The robbers then fled in two vehicles.

The check cashing store, approximately three blocks north of the Washington Afro-American Newspaper, has been robbed on at least three other occasions, a neighboring merchant said.

From all accounts, Singh was a beloved member of the community. On the afternoon of June 19, members of the Benning Road/ H Street community held a memorial ceremony for Singh. The neighbors in the area provided food and drinks as people lined the parking lot in front of the building to celebrate his life.

“Roger was a very good person. He would help the homeless like give them jobs sweeping the parking lot out front,” said Hoan Lai, a nail technician in the shop directly beside the check cashing store.

Anette Bigesby, a manager and stylist in a nearby salon, said that Singh was a sweetheart and he and his father were very close. “Roger was the type of guy that once you got familiar with him, if you don’t have food in your house or your lights were out, he would loan you the money for it until you got paid,” said Bigesby.

Singh and his family were valuable members of the community, neighbors said, often donating money and food to many community functions such as block parties and college going away parties.

 

Krishana Davis

AFRO Staff Writers