A Surrey man has been charged with second degree murder for the high-profile killing of a convenience store clerk last Christmas.
William Andrew Whiteside, 22, was charged Friday by the RCMP for gunning down Alok Gupta, 27, on Dec. 25, 2011.
"Mr. Gupta was not a full time employee at this convenience store and, in fact, was working on Christmas Day as a favour to the store owner so he could spend the holidays with his family," Kevin Hackett, the officer in charge of the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team, told a press conference. "Mr. Gupta was a student visitor to Canada and had no involvement in the criminal world."
Hackett said the young man was originally from India and came to Canada on a student visa. He was studying marketing and management at the Kwantlen College in Surrey.
In an interview with QMI Agency just after the shooting, Gupta's best friend, Mohnish Thakur, who lives in Missouri, said, "He loved Canada a lot and said the people are really good. I don't know why this happened to Alok."
Thakur, who met Gupta 12 years ago at university, said he was successful in the banking industry but wanted an IT job in the U.S. or Canada.
He moved to Calgary and lived with his cousin, and during video chat conversations with Thakur spoke often about how impressed he was with the city.
"I remember he used to tell me ... the people are really nice and he absolutely liked the snow," he said.
Whiteside is currently in custody awaiting his next court appearance.