An Indian American Taptejdeep Singh, 36-year-old engineer belonging to Gagrewal village, 50 km from Tarn Taran near Amritsar was one of the eight victims of a shooting incident at San Jose in the US state of California.
Father of two young children, Taptejdeep valiantly died a hero’s death, not worrying about his own life while trying to save others’.
Taptejdeep was employed as a light rail operator at Valley Transportation Authority. His co-workers hailed him as a hero, saying he left the office room to help others escape the line of fire.
Cousin Bagga Singh, who attended to the scene and waited the whole day before he was given the bad news by the authorities, remembered Taptejdeep as the nicest person in his family and a gregarious man who enjoyed playing volleyball.
“We are very sad right now,” said Bagga Singh who was accompanied by several family members who broke down sobbing at a Red Cross facility when they learnt about the tragic loss of their cousin.
According to Bagga Singh, Taptejdeep enjoyed his job at the V.T.A., where he had been working for eight or nine years.
Apart from being an engineer, TaptejDeep also had an insurance license and was a real estate agent.
“He can work anything he wants, very smart guy,” Bagga Singh added.
According to media reports, county officials said Taptejdeep Singh acted heroically when he detected danger during the attack, calling out to his co-workers that shots were being fired and quickly ushering one woman into a secure room.
“I think he’s the one who tried to save the people, as many as he could,” said Bagga Singh after being briefed by county officials.
Totally devastated by the huge loss, Bagga Singh said “Nobody should have a gun.”
Taptejdeep had moved to the US in 2005. He leaves behind a wife, a three years old son and a one year old daughter.
The shooter, Samuel Cassidy 57, also a (maintenance) worker at VTA, had some litigation with the company. He reportedly died of a self-inflicted gunshot. Samuel’s ex-wife and girlfriend have told authorities he was not of a ‘stable mind’.
The death of Taptejdeep marks the second time in two months that members of the Indian American community mourned after a mass shooting. Only last month, four Sikhs were among the eight people killed in a shooting at a FedEx warehouse in Indianapolis.