"He was getting ready to celebrate his daughter’s birthday.”
A police investigation is underway after a US Indian businessman was shot dead on December 6, 2021, outside a bank in Columbus, Georgia.
The man was fatally shot outside a Synovus bank branch on Buena Vista Road.
Forty-five-year-old Amitkumar Patel, the owner of Pyramid Gas Station, was pronounced dead outside the bank at 10:09 am 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.
His business partner Vinnie Patel said Amitkumar was depositing money and receipts from over the weekend when he was shot at the bank entrance.
He said that after the shooting, the assailant fled with Amitkumar’s money.
The two have been in business together for six years.
On the day of the shooting, it had been the businessman’s daughter’s third birthday and he was getting ready to celebrate it.
Vinnie told the Ledger-Enquirer:
“Today was his daughter’s birthday. He was getting ready to celebrate his daughter’s birthday.”
He went on to say that it is a milestone that the girl may never forget because of her father’s death.
Vinnie explained that his partner typically deposited money from the business’ weekend trade on Mondays.
He added: “Before he got into the bank, this incident happened.”
According to police, they believe the victim was targeted.
“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.”
He stated that his partner was well-liked and good at his job.
“He was a super guy, a super nice guy. He ran a very smooth operation, very intelligent.”
The deputy coroner said the case is being investigated as a homicide.
In a news release on December 6, Columbus police said they were called to the shooting at 9:34 am.
They asked anyone with information on the incident to contact Detective Sherman Hayes at 706-225-4268 or email@example.com.
Police released no information on suspects or arrests in the case.
Officers removed crime scene tape from the bank parking lot at 1:47 pm but the business remained closed afterwards.
The bank is approximately a mile west of Pyramid convenience store and service station.