Indian Americans Naren Prabhu, vice president of engineering at Juniper Networks, and his wife, Raynah Sequeira Prabhu, were gunned down May 4 evening at their San Jose, Calif., home by the ex-boyfriend of their grown daughter.
The lone suspect, Mirza Tatlic, 24, was killed by San Jose Police Department officers after a two-hour stand-off with police, in which the gunman held the couple’s youngest son as hostage inside the home.
At the time of the double murder, the Prabhus had a restraining order against Tatlic, who broke up with Rachel Prabhu – the couple’s daughter – last December. After the break-up, Tatlic, who police said had a history of mental illness, posted a series of increasingly disturbing messages to his social media accounts.
Tatlic shot Naren Prabhu in the doorway of his home, then went inside and killed Raynah, according to police reports.
The Prabhus’ eldest son managed to escape and ran outside of the house to call police. He reported that his father had been killed but was not sure if his mother was also dead.
Rachel Prabhu lives out of state and was not home when the shooting occurred.
San Jose police and a SWAT team arrived at the scene, and surrounded the couple’s home, asking Tatlic to let the boy go.
Tatlic released the boy, after he used his cell phone to contact Rachel. The teenager was physically unharmed, San Jose Police Chief Eddie Garcia told reporters at a May 5 press conference.
Police then tried to get Tatlic to surrender peacefully, but the young man refused, according to Garcia. In a conversation with police during the stand-off, Tatlic said he killed Rachel’s parents to cause her pain, just as she had caused him pain when she broke up with him.
Tatlic finally appeared at a window inside the home and pointed a gun at police officers. An unnamed officer fired at the gunman; Tatlic was killed in the exchange. The officer – a 17-year veteran of the force – has been placed on administrative leave.
Tatlic was using a gun that was not registered to him, said Garcia, adding that detectives are investigating how he was able to get the gun.
Garcia told reporters that Tatlic had a history of mental illness, domestic violence, and driving under the influence.
“Say the right things, be the right person, get betrayed, lied to and left for dead,” Tatlic wrote in an Instagram post. “No mercy on the ones you love the most,” wrote the troubled man, who also obliquely referenced a break-up on Dec. 1 last year.
“I don’t want to go through this day in and out misery of missing something that was never mine, only there to destroy me,” Tatlic wrote, ending his post: “f*&k u b*&*h.”
In another Instagram message, Tatlic posted a photo of Rachel, captioning it: “The devil smiles but the eyes sell the evil.”
In one of his final posts, Tatlic hinted at his intent to kill the Prabhus, writing: “Hope I get more than just one. This cost me my lyf.”
“One could infer that this is over a failed relationship. However, the extent of how that really got to this individual still remains to be investigated,” Garcia told reporters at the press conference. “Obviously, this relationship had something to do with his motive. We just don’t know the extent of it.”
“It’s a horrible, horrible crime,” said the police chief. “It’s a tragic, tragic incident perpetrated by evil,” he said.
In an e-mailed statement, Juniper Networks mourned the loss of their vice president. “Juniper Networks is deeply saddened by the recent loss of a long-time employee. We are focused on supporting our employees and their families through this difficult time.”
“The company is mobilizing global support systems and providing help to assist the authorities and members of our community who have been affected,” said the company.
Raynah Sequeira was a native from Mangalore, and the daughter of Lila Sequeira, who now lives in Mumbai.