UPDATED: In Memory of Mohan Varughese (1988-2011)

Mohan.jpgYesterday, at 5:12PM, while I was sitting in the law library, panicking over the last sentences of my final exam for this semester, only a few blocks away a 23-year old boy, Mohan Varughese, a student from Penn State, was sitting with his girlfriend on the front steps of her off-campus apartment near Temple University, no doubt luxuriating in the perfect spring sun.

The semester was almost at an end, final examinations ended in two days and already the campus had a deserted look about it. The few people left to tend the campus were mainly university employees. The security guards. The maintenance crews, finally able to swab the floors without interruption. Outside, you could hear the cries of children, playing hopscotch and jumping rope double-dutch style in the streets, pausing every now and then to let cars go by. Next to Mohan sat his brand-new, bright red motorcycle, which I imagine he cherished with all the love a 23-year old boy has for such things. A man approaches, demands the keys. Mohan refuses, according to police reports, says, “Don’t do this, man.” Three shots. They hit his neck and chest. As neighbors come running, his girlfriend cradles his head in her lap. At 5:45, Mohan Varghese is pronounced dead at Temple University Hospital.

Mohan, a former Temple student himself, was celebrating the end of his last semester at Penn State. This coming Friday, he had plans to join his family, including his twin brother, at graduation, where he would receive his a degree in Psychological and Social Sciences. He had just secured a job as a youth counselor. Tonight, Philadelphia will mourn his death. A family will grieve for a lost son. Friends, their brother. My heart goes out to them.

Links: [CBS], NBC, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Memorial video

32 thoughts on “UPDATED: In Memory of Mohan Varughese (1988-2011)

  1. How incredibly sad and infuriating. My condolences to the Varughese family and the PSU and Philadelphia communities.

  2. So sad. This was supposed to be a happy time for him and his family.

    A motorcycle just isn’t worth losing a life over. But he probably didn’t know the man had a gun.

  3. It’s also the devaluation of life. Whatever the greed factor is, the less value a person lays on another person’s life, the less likely the criminal will resort to some less severe alternative to commit his theft.

    While I am tough on crime and want the guy captured so he can rot in jail for life and may he get shanked by a fellow inmate, it is imperative we try to protect more lives at home by raising the bar on living conditions domestically if not for “charity”, at least for security related reasons like this. This way, more potential criminals will value life more and be less likely to kill for such minor thefts.

  4. This is incredibly sad. Mohan was a distant relative of mine – my grandma’s husband’s brother’s son. Even though I’ve met him only a few times in my life, I was very close to that family. This is a terrible loss to our family. Please keep everyone in all of your prayers. We really need it. Thank You

  5. So sad to hear this. So many of our Penn State students are getting ready for graduation. All for a motorbike. There is no consoling the parents of this student :(

  6. What sickening news and a senseless waste of a young life. My prayers go out to the family and all of his friends.

  7. I didnt know him, but i know someone that does. Nobody deserves to go that way. Cold Blooded. My prayers go out to his Family, Friends and Loved ones.

  8. My heartfelt condolences to Mohan’s family. The chilling reality that his life ended for meaningless greed is so hard to swallow.

  9. Holy cow! I moved to Philly a few weeks ago, I ride a motorcycle and I live within 2 miles of where it happened. My mom wasn’t very happy when I bought my bike, she’ll blow her top if she finds about this.

    I hope they find the d-bag, and find him soon. May Mohan rest in peace.

  10. This is distressing. I feel bad for Mohan’s family and Mohan himself. He died a very brave, but unnecessary death. I hope that that murder gets justice.

  11. Such a mixture of emotion. On the one hand such sadness at the needless passing of a young person with so much promise. On the other, such outrage at the vile actions of this depraved murderer. Was he looking for his next drug fix? When they catch this animal, even life in prison won’t be a severe enough punishment!

  12. I’m a relative of Mohan, can the Philly cops do their job for once and catch this killer so we can put some more tattoos on this guy’s ugly face??? Thanks!!

  13. another tragic, needless, senseless loss.

    heartfelt condolences to his loved ones. our prayers are with you.

  14. That is the worst thing. The guy didn’t even take the bike. He just wanted a reason to kill someone. His family and friends (and especially his girlfriend) are in my prayers.

    • My guess is that this is a robbery gone bad. He could not take the bike because the consequences of getting caught with it are too high. R.I.P. fellow mallu

  15. I am so sorry to hear of this senseless tragedy.

    My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends. RIP.

  16. “i don’t have a normative opinion on this but what do you think about the convention of naming the race of the suspect? It seems to be standard with news reports and optional in the blog world.”

    If the suspect is not apprehended, how would you know who to look for?

    • Usually from witnesses. This happened in the middle of the afternoon in a densely-populated area.

  17. We are very very sorry to hear that! May God bless his soul and forgive those who shot Mohan! From Empire Salon and family.

  18. Oh puleeeease! Listen up you fools! Truth be told….

    Mohan was a big time drug dealer moving about a pound of weed per week. That motorcycle was purchased with his drug money. The fact he refused to give it up = WAFI. I doubt this asshole is up in heaven. If anything he’s rotting in hell where he belongs. Good bye and good riddance.

  19. Where did u come up with this truth be told?!? Maybe u should go to hell and rot in it, truth be told he was a good guy, u seem way too negative