A 27-year-old Norristown man has been charged with murder in the fatal shooting of a 54-year-old New Jersey man after reportedly following him home from the Parx Casino in Bensalem and attempting to rob him, authorities said.
Jekai Reid-John was arrested Wednesday by police in Pennsylvania and was awaiting extradition to New Jersey to face a first-degree murder charge in the death of Sree Aravapalli, Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone and Plainsboro Police Chief Fred Tavener said in a news release.
Reid-John “targeted Aravapalli in Pennsylvania and followed him home to his Plainsboro residence where the offense occurred,” Ciccone and Tavener said, though they did not specifically identify Parx Casino. The investigation is continuing and other charges are expected.
Eric Hausler, the CEO of Parx, confirmed in an emailed statement late Thursday night that the victim had been at the casino and allegedly was followed home: “We are deeply saddened by the report that earlier this week a customer of Parx Casino was the victim of a homicide at his home after returning from a visit to the casino. We have learned that law enforcement officials have arrested a suspect who followed the victim home from the casino that night. Parx Casino has been cooperating fully with local and state law enforcement agencies in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey and will continue to do so. Our sincere condolences go out to the family and friends of the victim at this incredibly difficult time.”
Shortly after 3:30 a.m. Tuesday, police responded to a report of shots fired at a home on Briardale Court and found Aravapalli with multiple gunshot wounds. Aravapalli was transported to a nearby hospital and was pronounced dead.
”On behalf of the Plainsboro Police Department, I want to offer my sincerest condolences to the Aravapalli family for their tragic loss. This is an unexpected and alarming event for their family, friends and our entire community,” Tavener said in a statement posted on Facebook.
Court records show Reid-John pleaded guilty in Montgomery County to a drug-dealing offense in 2016 and was sentenced to a minimum of two to four years in state prison and eight years of probation.