Blackville convenience store owner shot dead in robbery

Published: Sep. 8, 2020 at 9:22 AM EDT|Updated: Sep. 8, 2020 at 12:56 PM EDT
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BLACKVILLE, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) - A convenience store owner was shot dead in an early morning robbery today in the Barnwell County community of Blackville, according to authorities.

Ashwinbhai Patel, 60, of Izlar Street in Blackville, was shot to death at the Corner Stop, according to Coroner Lloyd B. Ward.

South Carolina Law Enforcement Division spokesman Tommy Crosby called the incident a “robbery turned homicide.”

Ward said the incident was reported at 6:45 a.m. by a customer at the store in the 20000 block of Solomon Blatt Avenue, which is also South Carolina Highway 3.

Witnesses told News 12 there was a large law enforcement presence there starting shortly after the shooting was reported. They said about 15 patrol vehicles were on the scene and highly visible to travelers passing through the small town.

Hours after the shooting, the site remained very active around midday, with officers and investigators out in force along with members of the community.

The incident brought back memories of a similar one less than a year ago and only nine miles to the east. On Nov. 14, 2019, an armed robbery at the Po Boys convenience in the community of Denmark took the lives of employees Kiran and Chirag Patel.

In addition to the Ward’s office, the Blackville Police Department, SLED, Barnwell County Sheriff’s Office and South Carolina Department of Natural Resources are involved in the investigation of today’s slaying.

An autopsy will be performed, according to Ward.

It’s been a busy past few days for law enforcement officers in the CSRA:

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