Indian-American teen shot dead after armed confrontation with police

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Nathaniel Prasad, 18, of Hayward, California, who died April 5, in an armed confrontation with police in Fremont. (Photo: Facebook, Chapel of the Times, Hayward)

An 18-year old Indian-American from Hayward, California, was fatally shot April 5, by police who were chasing him because of an earlier police record.

According to an April 19, press release from the Fremont Police Department, on April 5, Fremont police officers attempted to arrest wanted suspect Nathaniel Prasad who was wanted on a felony firearms possession warrant, a felony probation warrant and a misdemeanor evading arrest warrant for fleeing from a Fremont School Resource Officer on March 22.

The incident took place April 5, evening, at 6:47 p.m., when the Fremont Police Department’s Street Crimes Unit identified Prasad as a passenger in a vehicle that was being driven by his mother in the area of Central Ave and Fremont Blvd.  The officers broadcast information over the police radio about the vehicle and the active warrants and requested marked patrol units to assist with a traffic stop.

Two patrol officers responded to the call and stopped the vehicle. Prasad fled from right passenger side of the car on foot and was given chase. Prasad pulled a firearm from his waist area and it appears that he fired one to two shots in the direction of the officer, the press release says.  The officer drew his duty weapon, returned fire and broadcast over the police radio that the suspect had a gun.  The interaction was captured on video surveillance and was corroborated by statements of the involved officer and witnesses at the scene, the press release said.

More police officers gathered at the scene, including a police K9 unit. Prasad ran toward the officers before veering and running south on Fremont Blvd into the oncoming lanes of traffic, the press release says.  The K9 was deployed as they began to chase Prasad.  Three officers from the Street Crimes Unit and an additional patrol officer also exited their vehicles and began to pursue Prasad on foot.

During the time the six officers were giving chase, Prasad reportedly pulled a gun from his waist area, pointed it in the direction of the officers and it appears he fired at least one round, and police say this interaction is corroborated by the statements of the involved officers, statements of witnesses, the body worn camera footage and in-car camera footage of the event.  In response, the officers shot in the direction of Prasad, striking him several times, causing him to fall.  On the ground, Prasad still had the weapon in his hand and officers fired additional rounds.

Fremont Fire paramedics arrived, took over medical care, and announced Prasad was deceased shortly the incident.  No officers were injured during the incident.

The firearm in Prasad’s possession was a .22 caliber revolver.  When officers examined the weapon at the scene, it had three spent casings and three empty cylinders.  A records check revealed it was reported stolen, the press release said.

The Fremont Crimes Against Persons Unit and the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office are independently investigating this incident.

According to the Chapel of the Times, based in Hayward, California, Prasad was born December 19, 1999. the memorial to Prasad says he died “with his mom as a witness,” in Fremont, California. The memorial service was scheduled to be held April 14. His leaves behind his father Daniel, and mother Evelyn, and brother Dylan Prasad.

His biography on the funeral website says Prasad had a “goofy personality”, was an Honor Roll student with perfect attendance. He was diagnosed with an eye condition, Keratoconus, and had lost all vision on his left eye, and informed he had a good chance of losing the sight of his right eye as well. He loved to sing and write, and was on the school football and basketball teams.