Even as the country is still mourning the death of Indian engineer Srinivas Kuchibhotla, yet another Indian-origin man has been shot dead outside his home in the United States. The bullet ridden body of Harnish Patel, a 43-year old Indian-origin owner of a convenience store in Lancaster County, South Carolina, was found in the front yard of his home. The store he owns is around 6 km from his home. Preliminary investigations have revealed that Patel closed his store and drove to his home. There, he was confronted by the killer who shot him dead. The incident came to light after residents in the area called 911 saying that they have heard screaming and gunshots.
On the surface, it looks like another instance of hate crime. However, according to Sheriff Barry Faile, Patel’s Indian ethnicity does not seem to be the primary actor in the shooting. “I don’t have any reason to believe that this was racially motivated,”Mr. Faile said.
Patel’s customers and friends are shocked to know that he has been killed, since most of them believed Patel to be one of the nicest people in the world. Customers said that Patel was a humanitarian and would often let people have food even if they did not have the money to buy it.