COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) — A Columbus businessman, Amit Kumar Patel, was going to deposit money at the bank when he was fatally shot and robbed on the day of his daughter’s third birthday.
Friends have now set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for the victim’s family as they mourn the loss of a father, husband and friend.
What was supposed to be a day of celebration is now marked by heartbreak.
“It’s just a sad situation when a man can wake up in the morning, tell his family: I’ll see you when I get home, I love you… go to the bank and make a deposit and get assaulted from a gunshot wound.”Buddy Bryan, Muscogee County Coroner
Patel was the owner of the Chevron Gas Station on Buena Vista Road, just about a mile from the scene of the crime. He worked with partner Vinnie Patel for six years and was described by others as a “hardworking, upstanding citizen.” Vinnie helped set up the GoFundMe page, an effort to ease the burden on the family left behind.
Amit was the primary breadwinner for his family and now his family is left without a steady source of income. His wife, Roshni Patel, now faces the task of being the sole caregiver for his 3-year-old daughter, 91-year-old handicapped grandmother-in-law, retired father-in-law, and disabled mother-in-law with polio.
The GoFundMe page says the following:
“Amit was one of the most loving, calm and gentle souls we knew and if you had the opportunity to meet him you would know the warmth of a great man and father.”GOFUNDME PAGE
Patel, 45, was shot in broad daylight around 9:30 a.m.
With the holiday season, local leaders are encouraging people to be hypervigilant as they enter and exit malls, banks and other places of business.
“It’s kind of backwards because there’s so much joy in so many different places during the holidays. But it’s also an opportunity for people who may not do positive things. So we urge people to continue to be vigilant. Make sure they look very carefully around their car before they go to get in it and likewise when they’re getting out of it.”Skip Henderson, Columbus Mayor
December 6 is a date Patel’s little girl may never forget. The day she turns one year older also marks the day her father is no longer able to watch her get older. The Patel family is now leaning on the community for help.
The Amit Patel GoFundMe page already has over $70,000 dollars in donations, but they are still short of their goal. Organizers say every penny counts to help support the grieving family.
Photos were provided by business partner and family friend, Vinnie Patel.