A $20,000 reward was offered Wednesday for information leading to the arrest of the gunman who shot and killed the owner of a Quiznos sandwich shop during a robbery in San Dimas, sheriff’s officials said.
Pravin Patel, 62, was shot in the chest after a robbery at a Quiznos in the 1000 block of West Arrow Highway (map) around 3:25 p.m. on June 2, said Sgt. Rebecca Rodriguez of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
“The employee gave over the money and he followed the suspect outside of the location. A struggle ensued in front of the store and the suspect shot the victim,” Rodriguez said.
A woman who ran a business next door rushed to Patel’s aid and called 911.
“It’s really heartbreaking,” Kelly Strong said last week. “It was totally senseless.”
Patel’s niece said the shooting did not need to happen.
“Whoever did this took away a life that never should have been taken away this early, and should never have been taken away in this manner,” said Risha Patel, also speaking last week.
Patel and his wife were the owners of the restaurant, a family spokesman confirmed Wednesday, when a sketch of the shooter was released at an afternoon news conference.
A notice posted on the shop's door called him "Peter" and described him as a "hard-working family man who brought people together."
"He was passionate about serving his food and exchanging family stories with his customers. Peter spent every day working side by side with the woman he loved most -- his wife, Maya (Mary) Patel," the posting, signed by the Patel family, read.
The sign pointed people to a fundraising site for the family on youcaring.com. In addition to his wife, Patel was survived by a son and daughter and two grandchildren, the site states.
"He frequently spoke about retiring in a few years so he could spend every hour with his wife, children, and grandkids," the page states. "He will be dearly missed by everyone who knew him."
The shooting occurred in a normally quiet strip mall in the eastern San Gabriel Valley suburb.
"It has shaken this community quite a bit," said sheriff's Capt. Duane Harris.
Detectives were struggling in their investigation because security cameras were not working at the time of the robbery and shooting, authorities said.
The gunman was described as a skinny white or Hispanic man, in his mid-20s and standing about 6 feet tall.
He was wearing a baseball hat, black T-shirt and plaid shorts during the robbery, the sheriff’s department stated.
The $20,000 reward was offered by the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors.
A memorial service for Patel was scheduled for 2:15 p.m. Thursday in Brea, according to the notice noticed on the shop's door. A candlelight vigil was also scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday.