A community is mourning the death of a local business owner. Police said Ashwin Patel was gunned down by his own son. The 62-year-old man owned the Quick Shop on Lucia Riverbend Highway in Mount Holly.
Sunday, the store was closed, but friends had placed poster board on the windows for people to sign their names and leave messages for Ashwin and his family.
“Very sweet guy, treated everyone nice,” Charles Gillette said. “It’s just a shame this happened the way it did.”
Gillette’s son worked for Ashwin for more than four years. Gillette says you couldn't ask for a better boss. Ashwin was known fondly as “boss man” by both employees and customers.
“If you needed anything, gas or whatever, and you didn’t have the money, he would let you get it,” Gillette said.
“He was popular. He was a real nice guy,” Kitty Molyneaux said.
Molyneaux has been a regular for years.
“I came here yesterday when I heard about it,” Molyneaux said. “And I think ‘oh my God, I just seen him two days ago.’”
Workers told Eyewitness News that Ashwin's son, who police believe killed the man, also worked at the store. Customers say they thought the father and son were happy and close.
“Every time I see them, they were kidding, laughing, talking, joking with each other,” Gillette said. “Never knew anything was wrong.”
Saturday Eyewitness News cameras were rolling as 28-year-old Jiten Patel, 28, entered magistrate court. Ashwin’s body was found inside the home he shared with Jiten. Family members called police Friday after they couldn’t get in contact with the victim.
Jiten was convicted on a larceny charge back in 2005. He’s expected back in court Monday afternoon.