Incident Summary:

09/15/2001: Around 2:45 p.m., Frank Silva Roque shot and killed Balbir Singh Sodhi, a Sikh Indian-American immigrant, as Sodhi planted flowers in front of his convenience store in Mesa, Arizona, United States. This was the first in a sequence of three attacks by Roque, who had expressed anti-immigrant and anti-Arab beliefs. He was armed with a .380 caliber handgun and targeted Sodhi because he perceived him to be Arab and intended to retaliate for the recent al Qa'ida attacks in the United States on September 11, 2001. Roque was arrested on September 16, 2001. His insanity defense was not successful; he was ultimately convicted and sentenced to life in prison.



United States

North America

region/u.s. state:



Location Details:
7956 E University Dr

Attack Information
Type of Attack (more) Armed Assault
Successful Attack? (more) Yes
Target Information (more)
Target Type: Business
Name of Entity Mesa Star Chevron Gas Station
Specific Description Balbir Singh Sodhi, Indian-American Sikh
Nationality of Target United States
Additional Information
Hostages No
Ransom No
Property Damage No
Weapon Information
Type Sub-type
Firearms Handgun
Weapon Details
.380 caliber handgun
Additional Information
Suicide Attack?No
Part of Multiple Incident?Yes
Criterion 1 (more) Yes
Criterion 2 (more) Yes
Criterion 3 (more) Yes
Doubt Terrorism Proper (more) No
Perpetrator Group Information
Group Name Claimed Responsibility
Anti-Immigrant extremists Yes (Confirmed: Unknown; Mode: Personal claim)
Perpetrator Statistics
Number of Perpetrators 1
Number of Captured Perpetrators 1
Casualty Information
Total Number of Casualties 1 Fatalities / 0 Injured
Total Number of Fatalities 1
Number of U.S. Fatalities 1
Number of Perpetrator Fatalities 0
Total Number of Injured 0
Number of U.S. Injured 0
Number of Perpetrators Injured 0
Tom Lochner, "Hate Crimes; Former Walnut Creek Resident Slain in Arizona," Contra Costa Times, September 17, 2001
"Man Remembers Borhter Killed Days After 9/11; Meets Killer Years Later, Finds Hope and Reconciliation," Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, October 2, 2016.
Jacques Billeaud, "Police: Man killed; second shooting may have been related," Associated Press, September 15, 2001.