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.”

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  • lauramenard

    First my truly heartfelt condolences to this family. This is an outrage.

    Second, Chief Magnus was quoted by Chron reporter Henry Lee in a more profound manner.

    “This is a horrific, shocking crime that is very uncharacteristic for
    this neighborhood,” Police Chief Chris Magnus said. Referring to people
    out on parole or probation, Magnus said, “We just have way too many
    violent people out in the community at large, and people think that it’s
    just Richmond, but unfortunately as we’ve seen, it’s not limited to
    Richmond.”Read more: is stating emphatically to the unaware public that inadequately  supervised parolees are a major public safety threat. Where is the political will to address community corrections reform?

  • Susan Helmrich

    Is there a mailing address where we can send a check, or can it only be dropped off at the Registrar’s office? What an unbelievably sad event.

  • BHS Supporter

    Let’s focus on helping the family heal from this tragedy, contributing what we can as a community. This is a terrible start to the school year.

  • Susan Levine

    Hi Susan,

    Just send your check directly to BHS and indicate in the memo that is for DK Support Fund.  

    Susan Levine

  • Heather W.

    My mom lives just around the corner from this family, and the entire neighborhood is very distraught. It is actually a relatively close-knit working class community of people of little means. Any monetary assistance would likely be deeply appreciated. 

  • Anonymous

    Is there any way a Paypal account could be set up?