A day of joy for a Gujarat gas station owner living in the US turned into his last one after he was shot by a robber on the day of his daughter's birthday. The child turned three on the same day.
In what is the second incident of gun violence against an Indian-American in the United States within a month, a 45-year-old Indian-origin man from Gujarat was killed in a daylight robbery in Georgia.
The incident occurred in broad daylight near a police station in east Columbus on Monday at 10 am. The victim, Amit Kumar Patel, originated from the Kheda district of Gujarat. As per a report in The Indian Express, Patel, who owned the Chevron gas station on the Synovus Bank on Buena Vista Road. The robbery took place as Patel was making the weekend deposit to the bank.
According to the victim's business partner Vinnie Patel, the former was depositing money and receipts from over the weekend when he was shot at the bank entrance. The shooter took the money.
He was pronounced dead outside the bank at 10:09 a.m. by Muscogee County Deputy Coroner Charles Newton.
The two have been in business together for six years, he said. “Today was his daughter’s birthday... He was getting ready to celebrate his daughter’s birthday," Vinnie was quoted by local media reports as saying.
According to Patel, the Police officers investigating the case believed the crime was targeted and that the victim had been followed. However, not much is known about the investigation at this point.
Patel is survived by his wife and daughter.
This is the second incident of an Indian business owner being murdered in broad daylight by robbers in the US.
On November 17, Sajan Mathew (55), a dollar store owner, was shot and killed during a robbery in Mesquite, Texas. The accused, a 15-year-old, has since been arrested. The teenager is now facing a capital murder charge.
(With PTI inputs)