Sanjay Patel was to become a father for the first time, in July.
By Raif Karerat
WASHINGTON, DC: Two Indian Americans have been fatally gunned down during robbery attempts within the span of 24 hours.
Sanjay Patel worked as a clerk at a gas station on Forbes Avenue in New Haven, Connecticut. On Monday night, the 39-year-old sustained three shots to his chest and one to his hand, after which he was rushed to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Witnesses described two masked men, dressed in dark clothing, running from the scene.
“We are looking for two people that may be involved. We don’t necessarily believe that two were firing guns. We know at least one was,” New Haven police spokesman Officer David Hartman said.
According to NBC, Patel and his wife, Chavada, were expecting their first child in three months. They had been trying to start a family for 10 years.
Further heartbreakingly, this is the second tragic event to rock the foundations of Chavada’s life within the last year and a half. She was badly burned in January 2014 during an explosion and had to receive skin grafts as a result. The blast also forced her and her husband to relocate their home. The expecting widow told NBC she does not know how she will provide for her child now, as her husband was her only family in the United States.
The second incident occurred in Peoria, Illinois, where Rajesh Madala, 35, was murdered by an unidentified assailant during another gas station robbery on Spring Bay Road. The suspect, a white male, was later tracked down by police and slain during an exchange of gunfire in a remote area surrounding the town of Lowpoint, Ill.
The Press Trust of India reported residents expressed shock at the news of the killing and described Madala, known as “Raj” to customers, as an “awesome guy” who was inviting and amiable with anyone who walked into the station. Robyn Williams, a clerk at the nearby General Store Bayview, told PTI that Madala was universally well-liked within the community.