Chicago, April 29 (AFP): An Indian immigrant was murdered in a dispute that began with a misunderstanding over a cup of coffee, police said today as they filed charges against the alleged murderer.
The 29-year-old shop assistant died of gunshot wounds last week at a donut store here in an attack, which initially baffled detectives.
Witnesses said the attack appeared to be unprovoked: the gunman walked into the store in the early hours of April 24 and fired several times at the Indian cashier, Sukhdev Dave, before fleeing on foot.
But detectives were able to trace the alleged shooter, Alfredo Natal. The 48-year-old was arrested on Saturday and taken into custody after police officers staked out his home.
He was charged with first-degree murder late Sunday night after he gave a videotaped confession to investigators and was identified by witnesses, Chicago police spokeswoman Alice Casanova said.
The police said a dispute between Natal and Dave began about two weeks ago, when Natal, a frequent customer of the shop, had a disagreement with Dave.
Dave apparently charged an acquaintance of Natal for coffee. But Natal believed he had pre-paid for the drink, said police commander Lee Epplen.
Dave returned the money. But in the following days, Natal became suspicious that Dave was intentionally over-sweetening his coffee, Epplen told the Chicago Tribune. “The disagreement was of a minor nature, and from that time he just felt that the deceased victim had it (in) for him,” he said.