An Indian American teenager, who was wanted on a felony firearms possession warrant, was killed April 5 by police officers in Fremont, Calif., after he allegedly fired at them.
According to a Fremont Police Department report released April 19, Nathaniel ‘Nathan’ Prasad and his mother – who has not been identified – were driving in Fremont early evening April 5. Prasad, an 18-year-old Hayward, Calif., resident, was wanted on a felony firearms possession warrant, a felony probation warrant, and a misdemeanor evading arrest warrant for fleeing from a Fremont school resource officer on March 22.
The Fremont Police Department’s Street Crimes Unit identified Prasad as a passenger in the car driven by his mother. According to the FPD report: “Two patrol officers responded to the area, activated their emergency lights and siren, and stopped the suspect vehicle. The driver of the vehicle stopped and Prasad fled from the right passenger side of the car on foot.”
One of the officers gave chase and followed Prasad to confront him. “Prasad pulled a firearm from his waist area and it appears that he fired one to two shots in the direction of the officer. The officer drew his duty weapon, returned fire and broadcast over the police radio that the suspect had a gun,” according to the police report.
Additional officers arrived at the scene, along with a K-9 dog. Prasad ran toward the officers before veering and running south into oncoming lanes of traffic. Four officers began to chase Prasad on foot.
“Prasad pulled a gun from his waist area, pointed it in the direction of the officers and it appears he fired at least one round,” reported police, noting that the interaction was corroborated by the statements of the involved officers, statements of witnesses, the body worn camera footage and in-car camera footage of the event.
“In response to Prasad’s fire, officers shot in the direction of Prasad, striking him several times, causing him to fall,” according to the police report. On the ground, Prasad still had the weapon in his hand and officers fired additional rounds.
Officers removed the firearm from the area, secured Prasad and provided field trauma medical care. Fremont Fire paramedics arrived, took over medical care, and announced Prasad was dead.
The firearm in Prasad’s possession was a .22 caliber revolver. When officers examined the weapon at the scene, it had three spent casings and three empty cylinders. A records check revealed it was reported stolen.
Prasad’s mother was taken to the Fremont Police Department, where she made a statement, but which has not been released. The six officers involved in the incident have all been placed on paid administrative leave.
A funeral service was held for Prasad April 14 at the Chapel of the Chimes in Hayward. Two days earlier, Prasad’s girlfriend organized a memorial service at the site where Prasad was killed.
“Please come and show your support and help us to get justice for our poor Nathan, who was just an 18-year-old kid,” wrote Prasad’s cousin Stephanie in a Facebook post. “We love you, Nathan, and we are going to make sure the world knows you were an amazing little kid. We won’t let the media portray you in any other way,” she wrote.
The young man leaves behind his mother Evelyn, his father Daniel, and his brother Dylan. “You were the only one of the kids who would embrace being Indian and ate with your hands,” wrote a friend in the online memorial guestbook.
Prasad was born and grew up in Hayward. He had lost all vision in his left eye due to keratoconus; three eye surgeries failed, and his doctor predicted he would lose sight in his right eye as well, according to his obituary.
Prasad was an honor roll student at Hayward High School, where he also played on the school’s football and basketball teams.
“Nathan had just graduated high school and was eagerly awaiting to get his cap and gown. Like every other 18 year old, he was excited about choosing a college and a career to pursue,” wrote his family in the obituary. “After all he had been through, his family was very proud of his courage and bravery in overcoming his disability and moving towards his dreams.”
“Nathan will be terribly missed; he was very loved by his family and friends. He had so much to live for and so much left to experience. His loved ones will remember him as a vibrant young man who was full of life, whose contagious personality could brighten any room,” wrote the family.
“Nathan was always known to have the last word, today we are saying it for him: I look up at the stars and smile because I know you’re somewhere smiling back.”