NEW YORK – Indian American Kamil Patel, 29, was shot and killed on Miami Beach, while he and his girlfriend Katy Park were walking down an alley called Collins Court, just south of Española Way, into a karaoke bar, just before midnight Thursday, according a Miami Herald report.
Police are now searching for the gunman and have asked the community to help for a $13,000 reward, for clues leading to arrest of the culprit(s).
“We are appealing to all of your viewers to help us and there is now a $13,000 reward that we have accumulated. That’s $3,000 from Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers and $5,000 from Miami Beach police and an additional $5,000 from Prada, where the victim worked,” Miami Beach Police Chief Daniel Oates told CBSMiami.
“We’re hoping that will lead to some tips in this case. This is not the sort of thing that happens on Miami Beach,” he added.
Nasir Mahmud, Patel’s uncle, told CBSMiami that he hopes the new reward will help.
“We want to encourage people to come forward. That is so important. For whatever reason this happened, I do not understand. I do not understand this. Why would they do this? Why would they do such a thing? There are so many guns in young people’s hands. My nephew was a hard working good person and he did not deserve this. He loved his family and worked so hard,” Mahmud told CBSMiami over the phone.
According to the CBSMiami report, Patel had just come to South Florida from Dallas, Texas and was the operations manager at the Prada store in Bal Harbor.
Police told CBSMiami that they have released a surveillance video which shows the couple walking down the street near the time of the shooting when all of a sudden, a white four-door Honda Accord with tinted windows turns right onto Collins Court just behind them.
Though the couple and the car are out of view before the shooting, Park told police that the car pulled up to the couple and someone got out of the front passenger seat, shot her boyfriend and got back into the car, according to the Miami Herald.
“It is a 2017 Honda Accord 4-door that was last seen with a Florida tag of CCP 4319. This is chilling video of the couple walking down the street being followed by a car,” Oates said.
Police say that the same vehicle was captured surveillance tape Friday, leaving Espanola Way and turning south on Washington Avenue while moving on the wrong side of the street.
However, Oates revealed that the car actually belongs to “Orestes Marrero who was reported missing by his family” and “that case is being handled by the Miami-Dade Police.”
“We are not going to speculate on the motive for the shooting,” Oates added, but police are looking for a thin black male with medium length dreadlocks.
Anyone with information should call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at (305) 471-TIPS.
“I want the people who did this to know that there is an army of people, an army of resourced family, friends and co-workers, who will not rest until we find justice for Kamil Patel,” Park wrote on Patel’s GoFundMe page.
According to the Miami Herald, Patel’s family has been raising money through a GoFundMe page which has already made $18,000 with a goal of $20,000.
Park told CBSMiami that Patel’s last words to her were “Katy, keep walking,” in an attempt to protect her before he was shot in the shoulder and the stomach.
According to the Miami Herald, Patel had just picked up Park from the airport and the two went to Mac’s Club Deuce for drinks before heading over to the karaoke bar.
According to the GoFundMe page, a service will be held for Patel on his birthday, Feb. 3, in Buffalo, New York.
He would have turned 30-years-old.