Community saddened, angry after Lancaster store owner killed

LANCASTER, S.C. — A community in Lancaster County is stunned after the owner of a store was shot and killed Thursday night while coming home from work.

Lancaster County Coroner, Tony Broome, said the man was 43-year-old Harnish Patel. He was found deceased in his yard on Craig Manor Road.

Patel was the owner of the Speedee Mart on Pageland Highway.

[IMAGES: Lancaster store owner found shot to death in his yard]

Police said that he closed his store and left in his Toyota minivan at 11:24 p.m. Thursday.

Investigators believe he drove from the store directly home, where he was confronted by his killer when he got out of the vehicle.

Nicole Jones was a friend of Patel's. She said she's hurt that someone would do this to a man who she said was kind to everyone.

"I would have no idea who would do anything like this to him as good as he is to everybody," Jones said.

Patel leaves behind a wife and a young child in elementary school.

Authorities have not made any arrests but are urging people to come forward.

“We ask anyone with information he or she thinks might be related to this incident in any way to please contact us,” said Sheriff Barry Faile.  “If you saw anything at the store, in the area of Craig Manor Road, or anywhere in between, let us know.  Even if you think it is not important, it could be the lead that solves this case.”

Anyone with information about this or any other case should call the Lancaster County Sheriff's Office at (803) 283-3388 or email Crimestoppers.

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