Execution-style double shooting remains a mystery

San Jose police need public's help in double shooting
October 10, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Two former San Jose State University students were gunned down execution style. Now San Jose police are searching for a motive and a killer. The victims are 21-year-old Eric Kenzo Otokawa, of San Jose, and 20-year-old Kristina Pandula, of Sunnyvale.

This was a brutal crime in a neighborhood near campus nicknamed "Professor-ville" for all of the faculty members who live out there. We're told the male victim grew up in Atlanta Georgia. His girlfriend lived with her parents in Sunnyvale.

"I always looked up to her. She was a big role model in my life," said Courtney Hessler, Pandula's neighbor.

To Hessler, Pandula was literally the girl next door.

"It's just really unbelievable, especially because she was so sweet. She never hurt anyone or anything. She was just really passionate about what she was doing and always wanted to help people," said Hessler.

Pandula was a pre-nursing student at SJSU who began dating Otokawa six months ago. Police say they were shot to death Saturday morning, around 11 a.m. at Otokawa's apartment, not far from campus.

He lived in the back of a Victorian home on South Third Street, where the door opens up to an alley. Otokawa was a student at SJSU last spring. Pandula was a member of the Delta Gamma sorority.

A neighbor who wanted to remain anonymous said they were a "darling couple. Very preppy, college looking kids."

The neighbor fears for her safety and says police investigators told her both victims were shot in the head multiple times and the suspect may have been an acquaintance.

When asked if police said they knew who they were looking for, the neighbor said, "Yes. Well, they said that there was one witness in the neighborhood that saw this guy leaving very abruptly in a black Honda."

The neighbor said the suspect was clean cut, 5'8" with dark skin and she saw him at the house frequently. If there is a prime suspect, police aren't letting on. Instead, they're reaching out to the community for help.

"We need the public's help to solve this and we're reaching out to them. We know somebody is out there who knows this individual, who may suspect that he or she may have committed the crime," said San Jose Sgt. Jason Dwyer.

If you have any information, San Jose homicide detectives want you to call them at 1-408-277-5283.


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