Man arrested in death of an Indian American during an attempted robbery


An Indian American man identified as Ishvarlal Kuvarji Patel, 60, of Troutville, New York was pronounced dead at the scene when officers responded to a robbery in progress on Jan. 23 at Starlite Motel in Roanoke, according to a WDBJ7 report.

According to Scott Leamon of the Roanoke Police Department, dispatchers told officers that when they received the call, they could hear a loud violent disorder in the background while the caller suddenly stopped talking, but left the line open.

According to Leamon, upon arrival, officers saw through a window, a man holding a baseball bat as he stood over two females who were huddled together.

Leamon told WDBJ7 that both of the females appeared to be injured; one even had serious visible injuries.

According to Leamon, when officers went to a side door, they saw Patel on the floor inside of the building; he was not moving and had obvious signs of critical injury.

According to a WDBJ7 report, officers tried to get into the building through an exterior door but found that the door was locked and when they tried to open the door, one of the female victims ran toward the door to let officers in but was grabbed and stopped by the male individual, identified as Timothy Mwandi Church, 26, of Roanoke.

Leamon told WDBJ7 that an officer began kicking the door in an attempt to get inside of the building and eventually broke the door into several pieces.

Church began trying to physically stop officers from entering but was unable to do so; he eventually dropped the baseball bat and ran after diving through a glass window to the exterior of the building, according to the WDBJ7 report.

Leamon told WDBJ7 that officers ended up catching Church; he was taken to the hospital and is now in custody.

According to Leamon, Church has been charged with one count of murder and is being held at Roanoke City Jail without a bond.

According to the WDBJ7 report, both females were related to Patel and were transported to the hospital for treatment; it is still unclear exactly how Patel died.

The investigation is ongoing.



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