COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – The Columbus community gathered to mourn the tragic loss of Amit Patel as he was laid to rest at McMullen Funeral Home on Sunday, Dec. 12.

Patel, a local businessman, was making a routine trip to the bank on the morning of Dec. 6, when he was fatally shot and robbed… the day of his daughter’s third birthday.

Patel was the owner of the Pyramid Gas Station on Buena Vista Road and a respected member of the Columbus community.

At the funeral, Patel’s three-year-old daughter reached and cried out for her father as respects were paid to the open casket. For years to come, her birthday will be a reminder of the day her father lost his life. 

He worked with partner, Vinnie Patel, for six years and was described by others as a “hardworking, upstanding citizen.” 

It’s a very very poor situation for the family, but now we have to say goodbye. We don’t want to. I feel like he’s just going to get up from the casket. I hope I’m living in a dream and just watching the dream.” 

Vinnie Patel – business partner and family friend

The beloved father, husband, son, and friend was loved and respected by many; every seat in the room was filled, and even more guests stood in the back.

When Patel’s father first heard the news, the first thing he said was, “God forgive whoever did this senseless act.” His words serve as a testament to the family and what they embody. The family is asking the community to help fill the shoes that this man left behind.

Patel was a man who worked day and night to make his dreams come true in the United States. He was the sole provider for his family, including his elderly mother and mother-in-law. His wife, Roshni Patel, is now left to take care of the family.

GoFundMe page, was set up to ease the burden on the family, as they grieve the loss of a man described by many as a kind, caring, and supportive man who wanted to help everyone. He was posthumously awarded the Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition, by Congressman Sanford Bishop. The certificate recognizes outstanding achievement, service, and public distinction. 

During the service, a close friend to the family said the tragedy that has brought the community together. Among those in attendance to pay their respects: Columbus Mayor Skip Henderson, Columbus Chief of Police Freddie Blackmon, and Muscogee County Sheriff Greg Countryman.

On behalf of the family, they thanked Columbus officials for their support, hard work, and dedication to the ongoing investigation. 

Every law enforcement official in our community is absolutely committed to make a very quick arrest and make an example out of this. Put them away for the rest of their lives if we can.

Mayor Skip Henderson

A candlelight vigil will be held for Patel on Monday, Dec. 13 at 5:30 p.m. The vigil will be at 4505 Buena Vista Road, the Synovus bank where Patel tragically lost his life.

The homicide unit has assumed the investigation and anyone with information is asked to contact Columbus Police:

Detective S. Hayes: (706)-225-4268

If you would like to remain anonymous, call 706-653-3188 or text VACS plus your message to 274637 (CRIMES).