Berkeley High supports staffer after brutal murder

A fund has been established at Berkeley High School to support Dinesh Kumar, the school’s day custodian, whose family was the victim of a vicious home invasion on Friday which resulted in the death of Kumar’s mother.

In an email sent to the BHS community this morning, Principal Pasquale Scuderi said that early Friday morning Kumar was shot multiple times after at least one intruder entered his home. His mother, Sushila Prasad, who moved here from Fiji recently, was shot and killed.

Kumar’s wife, Saroj Kumar, a nurse, and their two children, a 16-year-old daughter and a 12-year-old son, were home but were physically unharmed. Dinesh Kumar has been stabilized and is expected to recover, according to Scuderi.

“Our plan at the moment is to have folks who would like to contribute to a support fund for the family (who will no doubt be incurring regular day to day costs as well as unexpected funeral expenses and travel needs from Fiji) write checks payable to Berkeley High School with a clear note on the check indicating DK SUPPORT FUND. We will make collections through Friday, and then write a single check to the family at the end of this week,” wrote Scuderi. “Even 5 or 10 dollars could help considerably. Please give your checks to Bobbye Reed in the Registrar’s Office.”


Update, 3:40pm: Checks can also be mailed directly to Berkeley High School at 1980 Allston Way, Berkeley 94704 — please indicate in the memo that the money is for the DK Support Fund.

Richmond Police Department has reported that a suspect is in custody and a second “person of interest” is being sought. Richmond Police Chief Chris Magnus told the Chronicle: “This is a horrific, shocking crime that is very uncharacteristic for this neighborhood.”

Principal Scuderi concluded his email by saying: “This was an astonishingly brutal act committed against a nice, hardworking, and tight-knit family. Our love, prayers, and positive energy should flow their way as they deal with the shock, loss, pain and grief that have been imposed upon them.”