CAMBRIDGE (CBS) – Police arrested 31-year-old Sohan Panjrolia Tuesday afternoon following a large search in the area of Harvard Square. Panjrolia was wanted for murdering his father with an assault rifle Saturday night in Philadelphia.
Harvard University sent out a community alert telling people to avoid the area of JFK and Eliot Streets due to a police search around noon. Anyone in the area was asked to shelter in place.
Police took Panjrolia into custody after searching for about an hour. Panjrolia earned a bachelor of liberal arts degree from the Harvard University Extension School in 2013.
Brian Simonelli was working when he says he noticed a rush of people storm the mall below his shop. “We just hear a stampede of people running into the mall here, ‘get down on the ground, get down on the ground,’ like cops screaming and stampede, a bunch of people start running into the store,” Simonelli said. “The cops had chased this guy in, tackled him to the ground right here.”
According to CBS Philadelphia, police there said Panjrolia murdered his father, 60-year-old Mahendra Panjrolia at their home. Police said Sohan shot his father in the head with an assault rifle.
Police said Sohan Panjrolia suffers from schizophrenia and may have been using narcotics. He was considered armed and dangerous, but did not have a weapon on him at the time of his arrest.
Cambridge Police said an alert Harvard University police officer noticed Panjrolia’s car in a parking garage. He was then spotted sitting at the nearby Ben & Jerry’s using his laptop.
“It appeared that he wasn’t expecting to be engaged by police at that time,” Police Chief Branville Bard said, adding, “We were lucky here that we caught the suspect unprepared.”