Community attends vigil for slain gas station owner in Hermitage

Hundreds of community members in Hermitage showed up to pay their respects to Vishal Patel, a gas station owner, who was shot and killed during a robbery
Published: Nov. 30, 2022 at 6:20 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 1, 2022 at 4:36 AM CST
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HERMITAGE, Tenn. (WSMV) - More than a hundred people gathered outside of the Kwik Sak gas station on Lebanon Pike to honor the life and legacy of the store owner, Vishal Patel. The owner was shot and killed Monday afternoon during a robbery.

The convenience store is currently closed but so many patrons, family, and friends have created a memorial for Patel outside of the front doors of the gas station.

“I am truly speechless to see the support for Vishal and his family,” said Jack Patel, a family friend who addressed the crowd during the vigil Wednesday night.

Jack Patel says they’re still coming to grips with death, describing the life Vishal lived before it was suddenly taken away.

“Hardworking family, wife worked in the morning and Vishal worked in the afternoon until closing. Almost seven days a week, if I were to guess right, just to make ends meet for their family, following the rules, following the law, and being a good citizens of this country. Our whole community is grieving today, and we have no words for what the family is going through.

Vishal Patel, 36, was shot and killed during a robbery, when police say two fifteen-year-olds from Kentucky Shawn Davis, 15, and Demarcus Boyd, 15 went into the Kwik Sak convenience store Monday afternoon just after 4 p.m.

One of the teens shot Patel, who later died at the hospital. Both teens are facing criminal homicide charges for Patel’s death.

Patrons of the business stopped by to pay their respects leaving flowers and candles.

“If it wasn’t him it was his wife that was always here. This was their business. He was just a great dude a very hard worker, he always had a smile on his face,

He was always welcoming to anybody that came in, it’s a good one gone,” said Dane Barhonovoich.

Many, like frequent customer Vicky Pittman, described Patel as selfless.

“He would make sure people got to their car okay. I’ve seen people who couldn’t pay for them, and he would just give them to them. He was just amazing, just amazing,” said Pittman.

After the vigil, people gave hugs and shared their condolences—a community trying to stand strong despite losing someone they came across so often.

“I think going forward I will always think of him when I come here and that’s always a positive thought,” said Barhonovoich.

Vishal Patel leaves behind a wife and a 7-year-old daughter. His funeral will be held at Highland Hills Funeral Home on Trinity Lane on Dec. 1, at 10 a.m.

A GoFundMe has been set up to help his family during this time.