Community mourns Chesterfield business owner, recent US citizen, gunned down in store

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CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- A man kneeled and prayed by a convenience store’s front door Tuesday night. He was part of a community mourning the loss of store owner Harshad Patel. Patel, 55, was the father of twin boys. He had recently become a U.S. citizen.

Patel was shot multiple times and killed late Monday at his Marketplace convenience store at 6811 Walmsley Boulevard, according to police. Tuesday night, Chesterfield Police circled the block near the Marketplace.

Harshad Patel

Harshad Patel

Patel's friends came to pay their respects to a man they said would do anything for anybody in this community.

"[Killed for] no reason, man,” friend Louis Galaviz said.  “He has a family. I've got pain in my heart."

Patel recently became a naturalized citizen and moved his wife and young twin boys to the United States.

Man kneeled in prayer

"It's having a big impact here.  A lot of people knew this guy,” said Daniel Vidal.

Across the street at the coin laundry, Vidal said he came Monday night to look out for his mom.  Less than 24 hours after the violence across the street, he says it'll be awhile before he lets her come back by herself.

"Shady people around that store sometimes,” said Vidal.  “It's not safe.  There's not enough security around here."

The Shooting Suspects

Police provided a picture of one man who they said was among four suspects they were looking for in connection to Patel's death. Police urged anyone to call if they could identify the men.

The suspect's whose photo was released was described as a black male, about 6 feet 3 inches tall. He was wearing a black stocking cap with a brim, a black jacket with an inverted triangle logo on the left side of the chest, dark-colored shoes and dark-colored pants.

Chesterfield store suspect 03 Chesterfield store suspect Chesterfield store suspect 01


The second suspect was described as a black male wearing a black hooded jacket, a long-sleeved white shirt, black shoes and light-colored pants with a design and red shorts underneath.

The third suspect was described as a black male wearing a light gray hooded sweatshirt and a black ski mask.

The fourth suspect was described as a black male wearing a dark gray hooded sweatshirt and a black ski mask.

Forensic investigators are still processing surveillance video in order to share photos of the other suspects.

Police hope to release other images of the remaining three suspects soon.

People who frequent this store said the gunman and his accomplices have upset a very large community and they would not rest until Mr. Patel's killers were captured.

Patel's funeral is scheduled Wednesday at 4 p.m. at the Bliley funeral home on Hull Street.

Anyone with information should contact the Chesterfield County Police Department at 804-748-1251 or Crime Solvers at 804-748-0660.

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