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Thousands eulogize hate-crime victim

SHARE Thousands eulogize hate-crime victim

PHOENIX (AP) — Nearly 3,000 people gathered Saturday to remember Balbir Singh Sodhi, an Indian immigrant killed in what police say was a hate crime that followed the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Sodhi, who like many male Sikhs had long facial hair and wore a turban, was killed during a Sept. 15 shooting spree that authorities said targeted the victims because of their race.

"On Sept. 11, America was attacked from abroad," Maricopa County Attorney Rick Romley said during the nearly two-hour service at the Phoenix Civic Plaza. "However, with the murder of Mr. Sodhi, we have now been attacked from within."

Frank Silva Roque, 42, an aircraft mechanic at Boeing, is charged with first-degree murder, four counts of attempted murder and three counts of drive-by shooting. He is being held in lieu of $1 million bond.

Police said that as he was arrested, Roque told them he was a patriot.