Man Arrested in Thanksgiving Day Killing of 25-Year-Old CSU San Bernardino Student at Motel

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A suspect surrendered to police Saturday in connection with the fatal shooting of a 25-year-old Cal State University, San Bernardino graduate student at an area motel on Thanksgiving Day, authorities said.

Homicide victim Abhishek Sudhesh Bhat, 25, of San Bernardino, pictured in a photo released by the San Bernardino Police Department on Nov. 30, 2019.
Homicide victim Abhishek Sudhesh Bhat, 25, of San Bernardino, pictured in a photo released by the San Bernardino Police Department on Nov. 30, 2019.

Abhishek Sudhesh, also known as Abhishek Sudhesh Bhat, died in the attack, which took place about 12:40 p.m. on Thursday in the 100 block of South E. Street, according to San Bernardino Police Department officials and the Times of India.

The victim was studying computer science and working toward his master's degree while working a part-time job at the motel where he was killed, the Times reported.

Officers responded to reports of a shooting when they encountered Sudhesh Bhat, who who was suffering from a gunshot wound, San Bernardino police Sgt. Albert Tello said in a written statement. Paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene. The killer had run away before police arrived.

"The suspect was identified and turned himself in to authorities on the morning of Saturday," Tello said.

Homicide suspect Eric Devon Turner, 42, of San Bernardino, pictured in a photo released by the San Bernardino Police Department on Nov. 30, 2019.
Homicide suspect Eric Devon Turner, 42, of San Bernardino, pictured in a photo released by the San Bernardino Police Department on Nov. 30, 2019.

Eric Devon Turner, also known as Devon Erick Turner, 42, of San Bernardino, was booked on suspicion of murder, San Bernardino County booking records show.

"The motive for the shooting is under investigation," Tello said. No further details were released.

Sudhesh Bhat originally came from the city of Mysuru in India, where he earned his bachelor's degree in computer science and engineering, according to his profiles on Facebook and LinkedIn. He moved to San Bernardino in March of 2018 and began studying at CSU San Bernardino the following month. He also served as a teaching assistant at the university.

Sudhesh Bhat's Facebook profile was filled with messages of sorrow and condolences on Saturday. A website set up to help his family with the costs of services and travel to the U.S. had raised more than $22,000.

"He was attacked while he was looking after a motel in his free time on behalf of his friend. The family grieves for him deeply," according to the memorial page. "Everyone who knew him remembers him as a very sweet and caring person who went out of his way to help others. He had a good academic record at college and his professors and colleagues appreciated him dearly."

"He had decided to go abroad to study with the only aim and ambition to help and be there for his family," according to the statement. "He worked hard day and night to fulfill this dream. He wanted to fund his younger brother Abhishreshta’s medical education fees apart from being financially available for everyone in his family."

Turner was being held without bail pending his initial court appearance, scheduled Tuesday in San Bernardino County Superior Court, records show.

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