Saturday’s killing of a man on Maple Avenue was not a random act, a prosecutor said Tuesday.
Prosecutor Philip Mueller said authorities believe the killing was a result of a prior dispute between 24-year-old Ganesh Ramgoolam and his assailants.
“We don’t believe this was a random shooting,” Mueller said. “We believe that the group represented by the shooters knew the victim.” Mueller declined to elaborate on the events leading up to the shooting, only saying that there was no evidence of organized gang involvement on either side. Authorities have previously ruled out drugs as a motive.
Three men were charged late Monday in Ramgoolam’s death. Each was arraigned Tuesday in City Court with dozens of family and friends in the courtroom. All three were ordered held without bail.
Ramgoolam was killed around 2 a.m. Saturday. Family said he was on his way home from a party for a friend who had just bought a house on Lincoln Avenue. The car in which he was riding stopped on Maple Avenue, although that was not on his way home. Police have not said why Ramgoolam was there, and family and friends said he had no reason to be there.
He got out of the car and was shot five times in the upper body, including his head, police said.
Charged late Monday were Dhanashar Persaud, 26, of 23 Moyston St.; Vishan A. Parbhudial, 23, of 935 Maple Ave.; and Richard T. Baliraj, 21, of 104-25-11 4th St., Queens. They were charged with second-degree murder.
Mueller declined to say which or how many of the three allegedly fired the fatal bullets. He noted that someone can be charged with murder as an accessory.
However, Mueller confirmed that authorities believe “multiple” guns were involved. No weapons were recovered at the scene and Mueller declined to say whether guns were recovered elsewhere.
Ramgoolam’s family welcomed news of the arrests. Ramgoolam’s father-in-law, Karamauth Ally, said Tuesday evening by phone that the arrests were good for everybody.
“It’s a relief that at least somebody will be able to pay for what they did to an innocent, hard-working person,” Ally said.
Vishan A. Parbhudial is the brother of Adrian Parbhudial, who is charged with firing a shotgun at officers raiding 935 Maple Ave. on Sunday. Two officers were hit by buckshot, suffering minor injuries. Adrian Parbhudial faces one count of first-degree attempted murder in that incident. Police raided the home in connection with their investigation into Ramgoolam’s slaying.
A total of eight adults and one infant were in the Maple Avenue house during the raid. Among them were Adrian Parbhudial, his brother Vishan Parbhudial and Baliraj, police said. Only Adrian Parbhudial was detained after the raid. Vishan Parbhudial and Baliraj were released, then arrested later on the murder charges.
At Tuesday morning’s arraignments, the three murder suspects were supported by a crowd of family and friends, filling a whole section of the gallery. They declined to talk to gathered media afterward. Their only concern, they said, was to get the men out of jail, or at least visit them as soon as possible.
All three were ordered held without bail, City Court Judge Christine Clark unable to set bail due to the seriousness of the crimes charged. Women in the group wailed as the men were ordered held.
Persaud was respectful, addressing the judge as “ma’am” and offering no commentary beyond answering her questions; Baliraj muttered “yes,” to each question.
Vishan Parbhudial drew a reprimand from the judge upon his entry into the courtroom. Seeing the large crowd of relatives, the suspect turned his back on the judge and began to whisper and gesture to them.
Clark quickly stopped him.
“You’re going to listen to what I have to say,” she said. “And then you’re going to go in the back. That’s it. No conversations. If you speak again you are going to wait in the back until the end of my docket.”
Among the contingent in support of the three men were children, including one infant held by a boy. The group waited as other cases were called, through a four-hour-long court session. The only breaks appeared to be taken to walk the baby in the lobby.
A preliminary hearing has been set for Friday afternoon, however, such hearings are often cancelled because of grand jury action.
Categories: Schenectady County