Consulate responds to Indian national killed in DeKalb gas station hammer attack

The Consulate General of India in Atlanta has responded to the shocking death of an Indian national after he was allegedly beaten to death with a hammer at a DeKalb County gas station nearly two weeks ago.

Vivek Saini, 25, of Norcross, was killed Jan. 16 in a brutal attack at a Chevron station on Snapfinger Road where he worked, DeKalb police said. The Indian consulate said officials have been in touch with Saini’s family and provided assistance with sending his remains back to his home country.

He earned his MBA in May of last year from the University of North Alabama in Florence.

“We are deeply anguished by the terrifying, brutal & heinous incident that led to the death of Indian national and student Mr. Vivek Saini, and condemns the attack in the strongest terms,” consulate officials said in a statement Monday.

Employees of the gas station told Channel 2 Action News that 53-year-old Julian Faulkner, the suspected killer, was a homeless man they had assisted over the previous two days. The employees, who asked not to be identified, said they gave Faulkner food, water and a jacket, and let him shelter inside from the cold.

A witness showed police security video footage of the attack, which captured Faulkner hitting Saini more than 50 times in the head, face and body with the hammer, Channel 2 reported.

The news of Saini’s death left his parents devastated when it reached them in the Indian state of Haryana, the Times of India reported. Officials at the Indian consulate in Atlanta said they remain in touch with his family but were unable to release more details about his life.

A North Alabama spokesperson confirmed Saini’s degree Tuesday afternoon and released a short statement: “Our thoughts and sympathies extend to the student’s family as they mourn his passing under these circumstances.”

Faulkner was booked into the DeKalb jail on a murder charge and remains there without bond.

— Staff writer David Aaro contributed to this article.