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Family of Blackville shop owner hopes for justice as crime rises in CSRA

Published: Oct. 1, 2020 at 11:35 PM EDT
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BLACKVILLE, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) - We’ve seen many recent violent crimes we’re seeing in our area, some of them going unsolved. Like the robbery turned deadly shooting in the community of Blackville.

A community is grieving, and a family is still searching for answers. On Sept. 8, Ashwinbhai “Andy” Patel, 60, of Izlar Street in Blackville, was shot to death at the Corner Stop he owned.

“I mean as a small community you know everyone together, everyone knows everyone so, I mean, things like this, they just don’t happen here,” said Krusang Patel, the shop owner’s son.

Crime across the country dropped during the lockdown the pandemic brought, and it dropped even by nearly 50 percent in Richmond County.

But as the country re-opened and the temperature rose, so did the crime. And the Patel family is living in its effect.

“And he has devoted all his last years, to serve this community, the Blackville community in whatsoever way he could,” said Piyuash Patel, the victim’s brother.

Andy Patel owned the Corner Stop for more than 20 years.

“He was just a really hard-working man, you know, he did what he had to do to take care of his family. He tried to always try to help others do right. That’s just how he lived life,” Krusang said.

23 days later after his death, his family is asking for one thing.

“We want justice, and a timely justice for Andy,” Piyuash said.

Today, the Corner Stop is buzzing again, but a hole remains in the community.

“It’s really difficult because as soon as someone asks and poses this question, for us, it’s going back to the day the incident happened. So, it’s very painful, very difficult to even answer or even think of that time,” Piyuash said.

Andy is not the only victim of violence, and his family hopes his death will lead to a change.

“We want to keep this candle burning within us and the whole community is with us,” Piyuash said.

The investigation into the robbery and death of Andy Patel is still open. If you have any information, contact the Barnwell County Sheriff’s Office or Blackville Police Department.

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