NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — Newport News Police continue investigating the double murder at a 7-Eleven in the Kiln Creek neighborhood.
Police say it appears one man entered the 7-Eleven with a motive of robbery and shot to death 52-year-old Preyas Patel, who owns the 7-Eleven, and his 35-year-old employee Logan Thomas.
Around 11:45 Wednesday night a customer came in, did not see anyone, and called 9-1-1. Police later showed up and found the two bodies.
10 on Your Side visited Patel’s home and spoke with a friend of the family, Bharat Patel.
“Preyas is also called Peter and has been in the country 20 plus years,” said Bharat.
Preyas and his beloved wife, Pratixa, had two children who are now college-aged.
“She is holding it right now. Time is the best healing. Sooner or later, we are going to be better, “ Bharat told us.
The family is so distraught that someone had to go to hospital.
“Peter’s sister was taken to hospital for a few hours. His wife is not doing great. His father and mother are here, and they are in pain. It is an unbelievable situation we are going through,” Bharat added.
There is an indescribable sadness, and outside the front door of the 7-Eleven, a picture of the other victim Logan Thomas surrounded by flowers.
“Logan had a shining star in him. He had a good heart, wanting to help people, ” His mother Susan Thomas Long spoke to 10 On Your Side by phone. “He was a hard worker. He had to make his mom and grandmom proud too.”
Logan was a third generation 7-11 employee and the father of a five-year-old son.
“It gave him focus. His son gave him focus and purpose. For a father to take control, spend the time, and do the things he did with his child in those five years was a beautiful thing,” Ms. Long added.
The Patel name is a big name in Hampton Roads. The family came here from India seeking new opportunities and that helped forge Patel’s business and work ethic.
“We are always thinking about business and helping others in the community and serving the best in the community,” said Bharat.
“Preyas was always helpful to all his employees or others who needed help he was always there for them.”
“This was a senseless act of violence. I hope the police get enough information to find this person. He took two lives and destroyed families, and children’s lives.”