A Connecticut father-to-be was shot and killed by two gunmen who stole cash and a box of cigars during a robbery at a New Haven gas station where he worked as a clerk, New Haven police said.
Sanjay Patel, 39, would have been a first-time father in just three months. He and his wife, Bhavana "B" Chavada, had been trying to have a child for 10 years.
"My heart is broken already," she Chavada.
Patel was shot during a robbery at the Pay Rite Food Store at the Citgo station on Forbes Avenue around 7:30 p.m. ET on Monday.
Police said one gunman shot Patel four times. The other shot him more than once and Patel died at the hospital, according to police.
His wife spent the night in the hospital as a precaution because she was in shock.
With no other family members nearby, Chavada's friends are now staying with her around the clock to make sure she is OK.
In January 2014, Chavada was burned in an explosion on Farren Avenue and had to be hospitalized and receive skin grafts on her hands.
"She couldn’t eat, she couldn’t talk, because it was all (smoke) inhalation," Slesha Desai, a friend, said.
Witnesses to the crime last night in New Haven reported seeing two masked men running from the scene southbound on Fulton Terrace.
"We're looking for two people that may be involved," said New Haven police spokesman Officer David Hartman. "We don't necessarily believe that two were firing guns. We know at least one was."
On Tuesday afternoon, police said one of the robbers was masked and wearing black gloves, a light gray hooded sweatshirt with "Jordan" on the left sleeve and sneakers. He shot the victim with a revolver, police said.
The other robber was also masked and wore gloves. He was wearing a darker gray or darker blue sweatshirt with words on the front, dark or black pants and all or mainly white sneakers. He shot the victim with a semi-automatic handgun, police said.
The owner of the gas station and businesses nearby are shocked by the crime.
“For a couple hundred dollars, they took one human life away,” Raj Ali, the owner of the gas station, said. “It’s not worth it. It’s bad.”
Danny Scarpellino, who owns Scarpellino’s Restaurant across from the gas station, said he is in shock over what happened to Patel and called his death a tragedy.
“It’s a tragedy … for money,” he said. “Go in a store and shoot a guy like that? For what reason?”
No funeral plans have been set.
Police are asking anyone with information to come forward and call police at 203-946-6304.