Shani Patel (Photo: Toms River Regional School District)
Shani Patel (Photo: Toms River Regional School District)

NEW JERSEY (Diya TV) — Shani Patel, a 21-year-old student of Rutgers University, was shot dead after a group of unidentified assailants opened fire on his apartment outside the university campus on Sunday. Patel’s roommate was also seriously injured in the attack.

According to the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, Patel, who was in his third year of studying economics, was shot by two people who entered his off-campus apartment in Newark.

Patel was pronounced dead on scene when emergency personnel responded, and took his roommate to University Hospital where he immediately underwent surgery. Authorities have not yet released identification of the roommate, who is still recovering at the hospital. The roommate is believed to be a 23-year-old male, who graduated from Rutgers last year, according to multiple reports.

According to a report from the New York Times, the attack was a targeted attempt to kill Patel.

About 12,000 students live in the downtown campus, and police said they should not be alarmed or fearful of further attacks. The investigation is currently ongoing, however, no suspects have been taken into custody for the crime. Police believe the suspects to be men in their early 20s. In a letter addressing the student body, Chancellor Nancy Cantor expressed her grief and shock at Patel’s death.

“I write with the sad news that last night we lost one of our students,” Cantor said in the note. “(T)here is an active, ongoing investigation…of a crime that took place at a private residence located off campus,” she wrote.

“While law enforcement is still investigating and we understand that it was not a random act that led to Shani’s death, it is a shock to lose a member of our community under any circumstances,” Cantor said

“Our deepest condolences go out to Shani’s family and to all who knew him as a student, colleague, or friend,” she added.