Indian-origin businessman Harnish Patel shot dead outside his Lancaster home in South Carolina

On Thursday night, Harnish Patel had closed his shop at 11.24 pm and barely ten minutes later he was shot dead outside his house in Lancaster, a media report said.

By: IANS | New York | Updated: March 6, 2017 12:03 pm
Lancaster, South Carolina, Harnish Patel, South Carolina shooting, Harnish Patel shooting, Kansas shooting, indian shot, indian shot dead, us hate crime, Indian-origin businessman, world news According to a neighbor 3 gunshots were fired outside Harnish Patel’s home on Craig Manor Rd. Patel was killed in his yard. (Source: Twitter/@GSuskinWSOC9)

With the nation still in shock from the killing of an Indian engineer in the US last week, another Indian-origin businessman has been shot dead outside his home in South Carolina, media reports said. On Thursday night, Harnish Patel (43) had closed his shop at 11.24 pm and barely ten minutes later he was shot dead outside his house in Lancaster, a media report said. Lancaster County police received calls at 11:33 PM after people called 911 to say that they heard screaming and gunshots.

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Friends and customers were in shock and were visiting Patel’s home to offer condolences to his family. “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. Jones and other friends said Patel was not always worried about the bottom line of his business. “If you didn’t have the money, he’d let people have food,” Jones said. Mario Sadler, another customer and friend, said Patel had offered him jobs before, and did anything he could to help out in tough times. “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.

Dilipkumar 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. Patel’s death comes two days after President Donald Trump had condemned as “hate and evil” the killing of Srinivas Kuchibhotla, 32, the previous Wednesday in a Kansas bar.

Lancaster, South Carolina, Harnish Patel, South Carolina shooting, Harnish Patel shooting, Kansas shooting, indian shot, indian shot dead, us hate crime, Indian-origin businessman, world news Sign on door at Harnish Patel’s Lancaster store says it’s closed due to family emergency. Owner was shot and killed last night. (Source: Twitter/@GSuskinWSOC9)

Local officials in Lancaster, however, did not believe that Patel’s killing was a bias crime as investigations are on, The Herald reported, “I don’t have any reason to believe that this was racially motivated,” County Sheriff Barry Faile said on Friday. In the February 22 Kansas killing, Kuchibhotla was shot dead by a man screaming, “Get out of my country”.

Another Indian Alok Madasani, who was with the victim at a bar, and an American, Ian Grillot, who tried to stop the shooting, were also shot and injured. Adam Purinton, a white and a former Navy SEAL was arrested and charged with murder. He had reportedly said that he had shot two Iranians after shooting the Indians.

The hate crime was condemned by leaders in both the US and India. In his State of the Union address to the joint session of the Congress on February 28, Trump said: “Last week’s shooting in Kansas City, remind us that while we may be a Nation divided on policies, we are a country that stands united in condemning hate and evil in all its forms.”

Local WSOCTV said that in Lancaster there was a lot of anger over the killing of Patel, who was considered an important member of the community and a kind person who treated his customers as friends and helped law enforcement. His store was close to the Sheriff’s office and deputies often frequented the store. Faile said on TV that Patel was a “great family man” and a friend.

The station said that Patel was survived by his wife and child in elementary school, who were at home when he was killed. People had created an impromptu shrine outside Patel’s Speed Mart store by leaving balloons and flowers in his memory, the station said. A sign on door read, “Store closed for few days because of family emergency. Sorry for the inconvenience.”

A tearful customer, Nicole Jones, told the station that when someone didn’t have money, Patel gave them food. “I would have no idea who would do this to him as good as he is to everybody,” she said. A store employee, Keira Baskin, said that he only wanted the best for his employees and his family. On Thursday night a woman called the police and said that she heard screaming and gunshots and when sheriff’s deputies arrived there they found Patel dead from apparent gunshot wounds a few feet from his house, WBTV reported. Police found two shell casings at the crime scene. A police dog could not pick up any scent to follow from there, WSOCTV reported.

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  1. P
    Prateik
    Mar 4, 2017 at 3:17 pm
    "With the nation still in shock from the killing of an Indian engineer in the US last week...."lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Who the F is in shock? Ever his wife was not in shock. lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Stop making up things just to sensationalize. We Indians lost all sensation after 70 years of State and media generated lies
    Reply
    1. P
      Prateik
      Mar 4, 2017 at 3:52 pm
      All Brahmin back to stan
      Reply
      1. P
        Prateik
        Mar 4, 2017 at 3:56 pm
        Sushma Swaraj has tweeted to the entire world potion "Nobody shoots Indians". Entire world has agreed. 😥
        Reply
        1. P
          Prateik
          Mar 4, 2017 at 3:50 pm
          Yes, except all those 3000lt;br/gt;who were killed in 2002 Gujarat.
          Reply
          1. N
            Nethran
            Mar 4, 2017 at 9:07 pm
            Please don't be insensitive like brahmin bhakts. Take care.
            Reply
            1. S
              Satendra kumar
              Mar 4, 2017 at 7:57 am
              The Indian community is respected and adored worldwide were ever it is a culture or effective hard work with intelligence and terminoloy that made great productive nation.The insane killing should be enquirer and brought to American juridication system.
              Reply
              1. R
                Rms Rms
                Mar 4, 2017 at 12:55 pm
                Bjp elected innocent people shot. Trump elected similar incidents. What does that show?
                Reply
                1. D
                  Desi Babu
                  Mar 4, 2017 at 1:08 pm
                  This is exactly how irresponsible media operates. There were shooting incidents always in USA. Chicago had an average of 4 per day last year: It is unfortunate to lose life but we cannot blame w America for it. Nicki Haley an Indian Origin Sikh Woman is the Governor of the same South Carolina...,That is an important fact as well... before we call Them all racist. In Kuchibhotla case we forget conviniently that An American jumped to his rescue and got shot as well. Accidents happen everyday even more in India.
                  Reply
                  1. M
                    Masood Ali
                    Mar 4, 2017 at 11:17 am
                    Really unfortunate! The pain and feeling of losing some one is very horrible! Sudden death of near and dear ones leaves us rattled and shattered for many years to come.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Attackers have been embolden since Trump unleased his hidden, racist atude since he umed office. It is high time our we need to more vocal on this attacks or else be ready to face even more in future
                    Reply
                    1. A
                      Achoot
                      Mar 4, 2017 at 8:50 am
                      Good ..now stop killing Dalits in India.
                      Reply
                      1. A
                        Achoot
                        Mar 4, 2017 at 4:12 pm
                        He did schooling from Nagpur,
                        Reply
                        1. A
                          arc
                          Mar 5, 2017 at 6:21 am
                          Learn English first before commenting here. Or else, go read Panchjanya. You will get a w bunch of palliative comments and alternative facts.
                          Reply
                          1. A
                            arc
                            Mar 5, 2017 at 6:11 am
                            Not gujarat
                            Reply
                            1. A
                              arc
                              Mar 4, 2017 at 5:48 pm
                              Breaking news: RSS' KUndan has announced a Rs 1 core reward for anyone who beheads Trump.
                              Reply
                              1. A
                                arc
                                Mar 4, 2017 at 5:44 pm
                                Gujjubhai Patel voted for trump. He was also narendrabhai's big supporter.
                                Reply
                                1. A
                                  arc
                                  Mar 4, 2017 at 5:53 pm
                                  Patelbhai's shop notice shows the family's education level.
                                  Reply
                                  1. A
                                    arc
                                    Mar 4, 2017 at 7:17 pm
                                    U r absolutely right. But if they knew spelling and also grammar (u missed that error in the notice), a spelling check would not have been necessary, in mourning or not. Patelbhai typifies the uneducated uncultured Indians who go abroad to open shops, wash dishes, drive taxis, etc.
                                    Reply
                                    1. A
                                      arc
                                      Mar 4, 2017 at 5:51 pm
                                      Why did gujjubhai patelbhai have to go all the way to amreeka to open a kirana store? He could have sta back in india, obtain a fake degree like Modi and become at least gujarat'd education minister?
                                      Reply
                                      1. I
                                        indian man
                                        Mar 4, 2017 at 11:32 am
                                        The problem is not that the country has people who hate or resent other races. It is not that the police are more suious of a certain race. The problem is that almost everyone carries a gun and can use to settle disputes or carry out their own agenda.
                                        Reply
                                        1. B
                                          Bibhutibhusan biswal
                                          Mar 4, 2017 at 4:42 pm
                                          Not save Indian people
                                          Reply
                                          1. B
                                            Biju Bahrain
                                            Mar 4, 2017 at 8:41 am
                                            This was expected by people who have common sense..except sanghis n bjp who were blindly supporting Trump.
                                            Reply
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