5 things to know about the West Chester homicides, Butler County’s biggest crime story of 2019

The man accused of killing four family members in a West Chester Twp. apartment in April will have his case start over because his defense team says he needs an interpreter.

Gurpreet Singh, 37, is charged with four counts of aggravated murder.

The move was the latest twist in Butler County’s biggest crime story of 2019.

Credit: Bradford, Connecticut Police Department

Credit: Bradford, Connecticut Police Department

Here are five things to know about the April quadruple West Chester Twp. homicide:

On Sunday, April 28, police found Hakikat Singh Pannag, 59, and his wife, Parmjit Kaur, 62, in their Lakefront at West Chester apartment at 4562 Wyndtree Drive with their daughter, Shalinderjit Kaur, 39 and Parmjit Kaur’s sister, Amarjit Kaur, 58, with gunshot wounds.

The Butler County Coroner’s Office made the coroner’s preliminary report available for media review, and it indicated 18 shots were fired. All died at 9:15 p.m. on April 28 and 911 was called at 9:40 p.m. that day.

RELATED: Religious leader: Man killed in West Chester quadruple homicide 'was a great guy'

The crime scene is the deadliest single criminal act since James Ruppert killed 11 members of his own family on Easter Sunday in 1975, and is the fifth-most deadliest day in the county since those slayings, according to the Butler County Coroner's Office.

Lakefront at West Chester neighbors were shocked by the homicides, as well as community members at their temple.


Police search pond, condo

A regional law enforcement dive team searched a pond at the West Chester Twp. apartment complex for two days.

West Chester police and the Bureau of Criminal Investigations searched the apartment, surrounding grounds and a nearby pond on April 29, and they continued their search on April 30.

On May 3, West Chester Police executed a search warrant at a property on Autumn Woods Lane. The searched a third-floor condo and a vehicle belonging to two men who resided in the residence.

The two men, who said they were relatives of the slain family, who lived in the condo told the Journal-News they offered police “full cooperation.”

“Everybody was shocked when it happened, the whole community’s with us,” said one of the two men.

Husband, wife were to leave for India

Hakiakat Singh Pannag and Parmjit Kaur, two of the shooting victims, were set to travel to India days after they were killed India to visit Singh Pannag's brother, according to the Hindustan Times.

Pannag’s brother, Harbans Singh, told the Indian news outlet: “We are totally in the dark (about the shooting). Don’t know how it happened and who is behind it. I just know that I have lost my brother.”

Police released radio traffic, body camera footage

On May 1, police released radio traffic from the night of the shooting. One of the officers said there was "a good amount of blood" in the living room where two of the bodies were found. In the last transmission released by police, an officer also says, "We have four victims, there's no signs of life."

WATCH: Body camera footage released of West Chester police response to shooting

On May 2, police released body camera footage from the three responding officers, which shows the officers driving to the apartment complex, then running toward the apartment building. The footage stops right before they enter the department.

The footage shows a man, believed to be Gurpreet Singh, 37, the husband of Shalinderjit Kaur, being handcuffed, which police said was “for his safety” as officers responded to the scene.



Sikh community invited to trustees’ meeting

West Chester Twp. trustees invited members of the Sikh community within the township to open their May 7 meeting with a prayer to honor the four family members.

“Together we mourn the unimaginable deaths of our neighbors,” West Chester Twp. Trustee Mark Welch said at the start of the meeting, “and extend our collective support to their family and all of our Sikh community.”

Amrick Singh, a priest from Guru Nanak Society of Greater Cincinnati, where the family worshiped, led the prayer, first in his native language and then translated.

“We pray for the peace of the souls whose lives were cut short before (their) time,” he said as everyone in the room stood with heads bowed. “We pray for them to reach their heavenly destination, for them to rest in peace and for them to meet the Lord, who will take care of them.”