Indian American killed during vacation in Hawaii


An Indian-American man from Pittsburg was recently murdered in Hawaii, when on vacation, and one of his college friends is the alleged suspect.

Benjamin Fleming of Pittsburgh has been charged with murder in the strangulation of his friend, Abhishek Gupta, on March 30. He was testified by another friend, Alexander Germany-Wald of Montclair, New Jersey, at a preliminary hearing.

The three men were friends since college at Carnegie Mellon University, where they were 2020 MBA grads — were staying at a Big Island vacation rental last month when Gupta was asked to leave a bar because he was belligerently drunk, Germany-Wald said.

According to a media release by the Hawaii Police Department, police received a call at 2:09 a.m. on March 29 for a man who was unresponsive and not breathing at the vacation rental home in Kailua-Kona. At the scene, fire department personnel performed CPR on Gupta but were unsuccessful. It was later determined that a physical confrontation had occurred between the three friends at the rental complex.

In his report, Germany-Wald said he took Gupta back to their Kailua-Kona Airbnb, while Fleming stayed behind. While at the condo, Germany-Wald said, he locked himself in a bedroom because Gupta was “berating” him. After Fleming returned, Germany-Wald and Gupta got into a fistfight.

“I knew that Mr. Gupta was psychotically drunk and that he was not in control of what he was doing,” Germany-Wald said. “I also knew that I was in grave danger when Mr. Gupta was on top of me.”

Fleming intervened and restrained Gupta, Germany-Wald said, adding that he didn’t see what kind of hold he used to restrain Gupta.

Gupta was working at Deloitte as a full-time employee since last September, but he was also a summer associate at Deloitte in the Chicago area from May 2019 to August 2019 while he went to school at Tepper and “led a fast-paced Source-to-Pay assessment for a major pharmaceutical company, resulting in measurable and tangible future state recommendations,” he mentioned in his LinkedIn profile.

During his time at Tepper, Gupta won first place (local) and second place (national) in the Deloitte National Case Competition, and participated in other case competitions, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Before enrolling in Tepper and working at Deloitte, Gupta spent more than four years as an employee of infrastructure consulting firm AECOM. He spent his last two years there as a lead cost analyst, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Gupta said he enjoyed running, grilling, and playing poker in his spare time. He also mentioned that he loved to travel—he had visited 21 countries and 37 states— and was in the process of obtaining a private pilot license.