Updated: Wednesday, 9:14 a.m.
Eight weeks after four people were gunned down inside a West Chester apartment, police have made an arrest. The husband of one of the victims was picked up Tuesday in Connecticut. Gurpreet Singh is the same man who called police to report the crime.
Butler County Prosecutor Mike Gmoser says Singh could face the death penalty for killing his wife, her aunt, and his father- and mother-in-law.
A motive for the killings is unclear. Some people wonder why it took so long to make an arrest.
At a Tuesday news conference West Chester Police Chief Joel Herzog answered them. "It's easy for people to jump to conclusions and say 'This is the person who did it' but there is due process that takes place," he said. "There's evidence and rules of evidence we have to follow. (We had to) make sure no stone was unturned here."
A preliminary autopsy report released last month found a total of 18 shots hit the four victims. The suspect's wife, 39-year-old Shalinder Kaur, was discovered on the dining room floor shot three times. Her father, 59-year-old Hakiakat Singh Pannag, was shot in the head eight times. Her mother, 62-year-old Parmjit Kauer, was shot four times and her sister, 58-year-old Amarjit Kaur, was shot twice in the head.
Police found the victims inside a Wyndtree Drive apartment April 28 after Singh's 911 call.
Late Tuesday, Ajaib Singh, older brother to Amarjit Kaur, younger brother to Parmjit Kaur, uncle to Shalinderjit, and brother-in-law to Hakikat Singh Panag, released the following statement:
On behalf of my broad family and friends, we are very thankful to West Chester police department for making an arrest in connection with murders of our relatives. We are also thankful to Ohio state, federal and other law enforcement agencies who participated in the investigation. We highly appreciate Sikh community of Greater Cincinnati who helped police in the investigation. We have full faith in Chief Herzog's team, and pray for murder convictions in the court.
Three of the four people killed were members of the Sikh Gurdwara Temple on Tylersville Road. The temple's executive committee president, Jasminder Singh, told WVXU he was shocked when he learned of the deaths.
Chief Herzog would not say if there would be any more arrests but assured the community it is safe. "West Chester is very safe. We have no reason to believe there are any threats to the community out there."