NRI businessman Harnish Patel from Gujarat shot dead in USA

NRI businessman Harnish Patel from Gujarat shot dead in USA

NEW YORK: A 43-year-old Indian-origin store owner in the US has been shot dead outside his home, just days after an Indian engineer was killed in Kansas+ in a hate crime shooting that had sent shockwaves across the country.nnHarnish Patel, 43, the owner of a convenience store in Lancaster County, South Carolina, was found dead of gunshot wounds in the front yard of his home on Thursday, coroner and police officials said.nnPatel closed his store and drove in his silver minivan to his nearby home where authorities believe he was confronted by his killer. The store is about 6 km from his house, The Herald reported.nnHe had locked up his nearby store less than 10 minutes before he was found dead, police said.nnPatel was found in the yard a few minutes before midnight, according to a statement from the Lancaster County Coroner’s Office.nnLancaster County police received calls at 11:33 pm after people called 911 to say that they heard screaming and gunshots.nnSheriff Barry Faile said the Indian ethnicity of Patel does not appear to be a factor in the crime.nn”I don’t have any reason to believe that this was racially motivated,” Faile saidnnFriends and customers were in shock and were visiting Patel’s home to offer condolences to his family.nn”Who would do anything like this to him, as good as he is to everybody,” Nicole Jones, a frequent customer at Patel’s store, told WBTV.nnJones and other friends said Patel was not always worried about the bottom line of his business.nn”If you didn’t have the money, he’d let people have food,” Jones said.nnMario Sadler, another customer and friend, said Patel had offered him jobs before, and did anything he could to help out in tough times.nn”He’s watched my kids grow up, which is why it’s painful. From day one he’s been amazing, just awesome, and I just don’t understand the sense behind it,” Sadler said.nnDilipkumar Gajjar, a close friend of Patel and the owner the ABC store next to the Speedee Mart, said Patel came over to this country to better his family’s life, and did that.nnPatel’s death comes close on the heels of the shooting in Kansas of a 32-year-old Indian engineer Srinivas Kuchibhotla, who was killed when 51-year-old US Navy veteran Adam Purinton opened fire at him and his friend Alok Madasani at a bar before yelling “get out of my country.”nnThe shooting last month+ had sent shockwaves across the Indian-American community with people expressing concerns over their safety in an environment of xenophobic and racist rhetoric in the country.nnUS President Donald Trump had condemned the Kansas shooting+ . He had said America stands united in condemning hate and evil in all its forms.nnSource: Press Trust of India

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