Criminal Justice

Temple law grad is charged with fatally shooting classmate during claimed drug deal

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A Temple University law graduate found shot to death in his car last month near his family’s Delaware home was murdered by a classmate during an apparent drug deal, police said Wednesday.

Benjamin Rauf, 25, was arrested in his home state of New York. He is being extradited to Delaware to face a first-degree murder case, reports the Wilmington News Journal. Police said a gun recovered when Rauf was arrested matched ballistics at the murder scene.

The newspaper reports that New Castle County police say Rauf knew victim Shazim Uppal, 27, from the Philadelphia law school. Uppal earned his law degree in July, but the newspaper does not specify that Rauf graduated. However, an online copy of the law school’s 2015 commencement program indicates that Rauf graduated in May.

Police say the motive for the murder seems to have been robbery, the newspaper reports.

Uppal was shot repeatedly in the chest on Aug. 23 in his black 2007 Audi A8 sedan, which was in a nursing home parking lot across the street from his parents’ suburban Wilmington home. A gun found when Rauf was arrested Monday night matched ballistics from the crime scene, according to police.

The county’s police chief, Col. Elmer Setting, said an “excessive” amount of marijuana was found in Uppal’s car after his death and alleged that both he and Rauf were “in the game” of selling the drug, the News Journal reports.

WDEL also has a story.

Related coverage: “Law grad is shot and killed; his body is found in parked car”

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