COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – June 6 marks six months since a Columbus businessman was killed in broad daylight at a Synovus bank. Investigators have stayed tight-lipped on the case, despite the amount of public interest.
Deputy Chief of Investigative Services, Ronnie Hastings, says they are holding their cards close to their chest so they do not compromise the investigation.
“That is absolutely in the interest of the victim’s family and friends and acquaintances,” Hastings said. “That’s the course. They wouldn’t have to hear about when it comes time for trial for that suspect to be acquitted or a hung jury… anything like that because we said more than we should have ahead of time.”
On Dec. 6 2021, Amit Patel was going to deposit money at Synovus bank when he was fatally shot and robbed. The deadly shooting took place just feet away from the East Columbus Police precinct, which is housed inside the bank.
It was supposed to be a day of celebration, as it was his daughter’s third birthday. Instead of watching her blow out candles, the day his daughter turned a year older was the day Patel’s life ended.
The shooting death of Amit Patel rocked the Columbus community. Patel was a well-respected businessman who owned a gas station just a mile from the scene of the crime.
Even as time passes and more cases are brought to the homicide division, Hastings says they are determined to solve this case.
“It is a difficult thing to rely on people that you don’t know. To trust people that you don’t know — but I can only give you my word and assure you that these cases are not forgotten. These investigators, despite any shortcomings that anyone might point out, work tirelessly and professionally and diligently. They do so much work and pour so much effort into these cases.”
Hastings says the homicide division is utilizing technology and pursuing any leads — even if they do not release that information to the public.
He tells News 3 that police would not release information about the investigation until a warrant is obtained for a suspect. If police make an arrest, they will keep details to a minimum to make sure they can give a quality presentation in a probable cause hearing.