Before he died, clerk planned to bring family to US

Surendra Dangol, 39, was shot the day after Christmas. Surendra Dangol, 39, was shot the day after Christmas.
By Milton J. Valencia
Globe Staff / December 29, 2009

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The store clerk who was shot dead the day after Christmas in an apparent botched robbery at a Jamaica Plain convenience store had recently returned from a visit to his native Nepal, and was planning to have his wife and 9-year-old daughter join him in the United States.

He had begun working at the convenience store just days before the shooting, according to his friends.

Police identified the clerk yesterday as Surendra Dangol,39, from Somerville, who worked at the Tedeschi Food Shop at Eliot and Centre streets.

The brazen and callous nature of the afternoon shooting shocked Dangol’s friends, who describe him as a quiet man keeping to himself in a room he rented in Somerville and working to save money to have his family come to the United States.

He was making plans to welcome his wife, Kalpana, and daughter, Sunila, within the next few months, friends said.

“He’s been helping his family,’’ said Uttam Shrestha, a friend who joined about a dozen others gathered at Dangol’s home last night. Shrestha said the group has been working with the Greater Boston Nepali Community to raise funds and make plans for a funeral. A fund in Dangol’s name has been established at Citizens Bank. “We need support, to get justice, and help his family,’’ said Shrestha.

The group included Mohan Shrestha, an uncle of Dangol’s wife. Shrestha, who is Dangol’s closest relative in the United States, flew in from California after the shooting, Uttam said.

The shooting, which happened at about 3 p.m. on a busy street in a vibrant neighborhood, remains under investigation, police said. Officials released surveillance footage of the suspected shooter and a white sedan, possibly a Chrysler or a Dodge, that may have been used in the getaway. Anyone with information is asked to call police.

Dangol recently returned to his hometown of Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, to celebrate the Dashain Festival.

Dangol came to the United States about four years ago and worked as a clerk at convenience and liquor stores. He returned from Nepal in October, with plans to bring his family back and had filed petitions with immigration agencies, friends said.

While warm and welcoming, he kept to himself, focusing on his work, friends said.

The store’s owner released a statement saying store workers were saddened “as the result of this senseless act of violence.’’ Friends were particularly surprised that someone would shoot Dangol in a robbery attempt.

“He’s a very gentle guy,’’ said Shrestha.