NEW YORK: An Indian American man, Khandu Patel, 56, father of two children, was shot dead in Whitehaven, Tennessee, Monday night, after getting caught in crossfire outside America’s Best Value Inn in Whitehaven, Memphis.
Patel worked as a housekeeper at the motel, and also was staying there temporarily with his wife and son, reported Fox News 13.
Patel was on the second floor balcony, getting ready to take a dinner break when a shootout erupted.
“He finished his days’ work and was out walking around the property. Next thing you know he hears some gunshots flying around and one caught him in the chest,” said Jay Patel, the victim’s nephew. “He didn’t even make it to the hospital to be saved.”
He needed to just make it one more week before he was preparing to move with his family.
“They were ready to shift over to the Southaven area for another job. He was ready to get out of there,” said Jay Patel. “Just trying to put food on the table so he had to take what he had at the time.”
For the Patel family the loss is still surreal. Jay remembers his uncle as a hardworking father.
Detectives told the family Tuesday, multiple people know who killed their loved one.
“Witnesses know exactly who did this, but they are not being cooperative with the investigation and not coming forward,” said Jay. “You never know who I could be next. It could be me it could be you. It could be anybody,” said Jay. “So please just understand what we are going through and help us get justice.”
Memphis police said multiple suspects sped off in a newer silver Nissan Altima or Maxima.
WMC Action News 5 reported people at the motel said the scene was horrifying.
“I was terrified,” said 8-year-old Amaya Matthews.
Matthews and several other children were outside playing Monday around 7:30 p.m. when bullets started flying at the Americas Best Value Inn and Suites.
Peter Patel said Khandu had worked at Americas Best Value Inn for about eight months.
Investigators put flyers up all over the motel asking for information about the killer, which notes there is a Crime Stoppers reward.