A 45-year-old Indian-origin gas station owner was shot dead during a daylight robbery near a police station in the US state of Georgia, according to media reports, some three weeks after another Indian-American was shot dead in Dallas in Texas. Amitkumar Patel was killed on Monday around 10 am at Synovus Bank on Buena Vista Road in east Columbus, Georgia, the Muscogee County Coroner’s Officer was quoted as saying by the WTVM tv channel.
He was pronounced dead outside the bank at 10:09 a.m. by Muscogee County Deputy Coroner Charles Newton. The bank building also houses the Columbus Police Department’s East Precinct, the entrance to which is only feet from where the victim was shot, the Ledger-Enquirer reported. Patel was the owner of the Chevron gas station at the corner of Steam Mill Road and Buena Vista Road, the WTVM reported.
The robbery took place as Patel was making the weekend deposit. Vinnie Patel, Amitkumar’s partner in the gas station but of no relation to the victim, said the victim was depositing money and receipts from over the weekend when he was shot at the bank entrance. The shooter took the money, he said.
The two have been in business together for six years, he said. I don’t have words for it, Vinnie told the Ledger-Enquirer. Today was his daughter’s birthday… He was getting ready to celebrate his daughter’s birthday. Vinnie said his partner typically deposited money from the business’ weekend trade on Mondays.
Before he got into the bank, this incident happened, he said. Police believe he was targeted, the partner said: They feel like he was followed, but not sure if he was followed from the store, or something happened at the bank….. We don’t know, at this point.
Amitkumar was good at his work, and well-liked, Vinnie said: He was a super guy, a super nice guy. He ran a very smooth operation, very intelligent. Amitkumar is survived by his wife and daughter.
On November 17, Sajan Mathew (55), a dollar store owner, was shot and killed during a robbery in Mesquite, Texas. A 15-year-old accused of robbing and murdering Mathew has been arrested. The teenager is now facing a capital murder charge, according to FOX4 news.
Mathew is survived by a wife and two daughters.