An evening of excessive drinking during a vacation holiday among three close friends, who together graduated with their MBA degrees from Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School of Business last year, led to the tragic death of promising young man.
Abhishek Gupta, 30, died on Monday, March 29th, after one of his former classmates, Alexander Germany-Wald, 31, took him back to their Airbnb rental when Gupta was told to leave a bar because he was belligerently drunk. A third friend, Benjamin Fleming, who has been charged with manslaughter in Gupta’s death, stayed back at the bar.
The new details came to light at a preliminary hearing broadcast on Zoom yesterday (April 7), the same day Gupta’s family fondly recalled their son and brother in a an obituary that celebrated his short life. Germany-Wald, who like Gupta works as a consultant at Deloitte, testified at the hearing, providing more context to a devastating loss that has shocked many at the Tepper School in Pittsburgh and left the tight-knit community reeling.
‘I KNEW I WAS IN GRAVE DANGER’
When Germany-Wald returned to the condo with Gupta, he locked himself in a bedroom because Gupta began “berating” him, said Germany-Wald said. After Fleming returned to their rental, Germany-Wald and Gupta got into a fist-fight. “I knew that Mr. Gupta was psychotically drunk and that he was not in control of what he was doing,” Germany-Wald said. “I also knew that I was in grave danger when Mr. Gupta was on top of me.”
Fleming, 37, who returned to the U.S. Army as a communications specialist after earning his MBA, jumped in to restrain Gupta. Germany-Wald told the court that he didn’t see what kind of hold Fleming used to restrain Gupta. Shortly after things calmed down, Fleming and Germany-Wald went into the kitchen for a beer. At first, recalled Germany-Wald, the pair could hear Gupta snoring. But they later noticed that Gupta stopped breathing. Fleming then called 911 to get help.
When the paramedics arrived shortly after 2 a.m., they said there wasn’t anything more they could do for Gupta. The police initially arrested Gupta’s two classmates, ultimately releasing Germany-Wald free and clear while Fleming was charged with manslaughter in the death. An autopsy determined that Gupta has been strangled after being put in a chokehold by Fleming, according to the prosecutor. The hearing was expected to resume today.
GUPTA REMEMBERED AS ‘AN ADVENTUROUS MAN, FULL OF LIFE’
As the preliminary hearing played out in a courtroom in Hawaii, Gupta’s family in Mississippi remembered him as “an adventurous man and full of life…Abhishek will always be remembered by those he met as a lovable, kind, charismatic, caring, and brave soul. His loving spirit will be missed everyday…He had a strong affinity to share his larger than life outlook and enjoy all the finer things in life with his loved ones. Taken too soon from his family, he will leave a void in all the hearts he touched. He will remain young at heart, mind, and body. We pray that his soul finds peace and enter his eternal home free from any pain he may have endured.”
Survived by his parents, Sanjeev and Nishu Gupta, and a sister, Gauri Gupta Jones (Mitchell), Gupta’s family “was very proud of all his accomplishments and loved him deeply.” Funeral services for Gupta will be from 8:30 until 11:00 am Friday, April 9, 2021 at Robert Barham Family Funeral Home Chapel in Meridian, MS. His family asked that donations in Gupta’s memory be made to Feeding America in lieu of flowers.
‘HE HAD A STRONG AFFINITY TO SHARE HIS LARGER THAN LIFE OUTLOOK’
The full obituary follows:
Abhishek Gupta, 30, of Mississippi, a beloved son, brother, soon to be uncle, grandson, nephew, cousin, and a loyal friend passed on Monday March 29, 2021, on Kona Island, Hawaii. He was born on October 3, 1990 to Sanjeev and Nishu Gupta. He is preceded in death by his grandfather Naresh Mital and grandmother Prem Lata Garg.
Abhishek was an adventurous man and full of life. He had many passions and enjoyed all outdoor activities including fishing, hiking, running, and travelling. He was an avid traveler and had visited 21 countries and 37 U.S. states, with a goal of visiting all 50. He was also working on obtaining a private pilot license and had a deep desire to explore the unknown. He attended Michigan Technological University in Houghton, MI where he pursued B.E. in Civil Engineering. He was a bright, young man with a very promising future ahead of him. He went on to pursue his Masters in Business Administration from Carnegie Mellon University- Tepper School of Business and graduated in May 2020. He was working for Deloitte as a Senior Consultant. His family was very proud of all his accomplishments and loved him deeply. Abhishek will always be remembered by those he met as a lovable, kind, charismatic, caring, and brave soul. His loving spirit will be missed everyday by his parents, sister, extended family, and friends. He is survived by his parents, Sanjeev and Nishu Gupta, sister, Gauri Gupta Jones (Mitchell), grandfather Ved Prakash Garg, grandmother Sashi Mital, as well as a host of extended family members and friends.
Abhishek enjoyed hours of fishing, kayaking, and grilling. He had a strong affinity to share his larger than life outlook and enjoy all the finer things in life with his loved ones. Taken too soon from his family, he will leave a void in all the hearts he touched. He will remain young at heart, mind, and body. We pray that his soul finds peace and enter his eternal home free from any pain he may have endured.
Funeral services for Abhishek will be from 8:30 until 11:00 am Friday, April 9, 2021 at Robert Barham Family Funeral Home Chapel. Robert Barham Family Funeral Home is honored to be entrusted with the arrangements.
Fond memories and expression of sympathy may be shared at robertbahramffh.com.
If desired, donations in Abhishek’s memory may be made to the below charity in lieu of flowers:
Feeding America: Donate to Feeding America in honor of someone special, and you’ll also make a big difference for families in need. Your special gift today will put food on the table for families facing hunger, and your loved one will receive an e-card to commemorate the difference you’re making together. The email address to send the e-card to is: firstname.lastname@example.org