Attendant shoots girl dead in Bengaluru hostel, injures another
BENGALURU: A 38-year-old tyrannical caretaker went on a shooting spree in a college hostel on Tuesday and killed Gouthami Ramesh, 17, and grievously injured Shirisha Srinath in their rooms. At least three other girls survived the unprovoked attack because his pistol malfunctioned; one girl escaped his attention.
Mahesh K, an attendant at Pragathi PU College, Kadugodi, near Whitefield, was arrested on Wednesday afternoon, 16 hours after the incident, from his elder sister’s house in B Narayanapura. A 9-mm country made pistol was recovered from him.
Gouthami was declared brought dead at a hospital, while Shirisha, also 17, who suffered bullet injuries on the face, is recovering in another hospital. Both are from Pavagada, Tumakuru district. Both Gouthami and Shirisha were II PU students.
Police commissioner MN Reddi said the attendant, who was also caretaker of the boys and girls’ hostels, was strict about students adhering to rules. It seems he could not stand the girls’ defiance, he added.
Police said the attack was neither planned nor targeted at any girl. Around 10pm, Mahesh walked with a pistol to the third floor of the building where the girls’ hostel is located. He went into the first room, where Gouthami was sleeping. “The girl was tired and asleep. He shot her in the head from a point-blank range. There was another girl in the room, but we think he didn’t see her,” Reddi said.
Mahesh headed to the adjacent room, which had three girls. When a girl opened the door, he tried to shoot her but the pistol misfired. After reloading his weapon, he pushed open the partially open door. “The girl who came to open the door fell down. Suddenly, he turned the pistol away from the girl and aimed at Shirisha, who was sitting in the corner, and fired at her,” the commissioner said.
The attendant then came out of that room and saw two girls walking to their rooms. He pointed his weapon at them and pulled the trigger but it didn’t fire. “The girls said he stuffed the pistol under his shirt and fled.”
The girls and other hostel employees alerted police and rushed the injured inmates to a nearby hospital. While Gouthami was declared brought dead, Shirisha was referred to Manipal Hospitals.
Three special police teams tracked down Mahesh at his sister’s place on Wednesday afternoon and arrested him.