The family of a slain 24-year-old Streamwood resident remembered him Sunday as a good-natured young man who came to the U.S. from his native India three years ago hoping to attend college and build a better life for his family.
Family members gathered in Anandkumar Jaiswal's townhouse Sunday to mourn as police continued to investigate his murder early Saturday morning at the gas station where he worked as an attendant.
Authorities say Jaiswal was stabbed to death during a robbery of the Thornton's Gas Station, 2 N. Barrington Road, just a short distance from his home. The station remained closed Sunday with yellow tape surrounding it, a Major Case Assistance Team van parked outside and several police vehicles coming and going from the site.
An autopsy conducted Sunday by the Cook County medical examiner's office determined the cause of death to be homicide as a result of stabbing and incise wounds.
Jaiswal's uncle, who joined the victim's father, Narendra, and mother, Maltiben, in Streamwood Sunday, spoke about the family's shock at the loss of a young man who was looking forward to his sister's wedding and furthering his education.
"He was a very nice, calm guy. He never had any problems with anybody his whole life," Ashwin Jayswal said. "We were deeply shocked. It was unbelievable. We did not know what to do. His mom passed out totally."
Jaiswal came to the United States from Gujarat, India, three years ago seeking a better life for the family who relied on him for support.
"The family was dependent on him," his uncle said. "We don't know what the future is going to be like."
Jaiswal had an interest in computers dating back to his youth in India, where he received training in the field. He hoped to further that training at an American college, his family said.
His uncle said family members previously expressed concerns about Jaiswal's safety at the gas station, where he worked full time five days a week.
"In the family for a long time we were worried about him working the night shift," his uncle said. "We were quite concerned about it. He was kind of scared too. But it is hard to find a job and more important, (for) financial support, he did it for his family."
Thornton's Inc., which is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to an arrest, issued a statement Sunday saying the station would be closed until further notice while employees grieve Jaiswal.
"Our heartfelt sympathy and prayers go out to the family, friends, and teammates of Anandkumar "Andy" Jaiswal who we lost due to a random act of violence at our Streamwood, Ill. location," the statement reads. "Andy recently celebrated his two-year anniversary as a member of the Thornton's family and was loved by his customers and team. We are outraged by this senseless act of violence and are working with the local authorities along with posting a reward for information leading to the arrest of Andy's assailant."
Jaiwal had not experienced any problems working at the station before Saturday, his uncle said.
"He had no enemies. He had no issue against anybody his entire life," he said. "He would never get angry to anyone. He was such a nice person. I don't know how somebody could do that.
"It's not like (the killer) robbed thousands or millions of dollars that it's going to last forever," Jayswal added. "Probably he will end up getting like maybe a couple hundred, maybe a couple thousand dollars. Life is not that cheap."
Anyone with information is urged to contact the Streamwood Police Department investigations division at (630) 736-3700. Confidential and anonymous information can be left on the crime tip line at (630) 736-3719.