NEW HAVEN–Police continued an investigation into the early hours of Tuesday morning after a gas station clerk was killed Monday night.
The victim has been identified as Sanjay Patel, 39, of New Haven.
Just after 7:30 p.m. Monday night, Patel, a store clerk for the Pay Rite Food Store at the Citgo gas station located at 260 Forbes Avenue, near the intersection with Fulton Street, was confronted by two masked perpetrators.
The intersection of Fulton St. and Forbes Ave was blocked off through the morning.
Patel was shot at least four times–three times in the chest and once in the hand–and was transported to Yale-New Haven Hospital, where he died an hour later at 8:21 p.m.
Alex DeJesus, who grew up in the neighborhood and always frequented the store, said, “When you walk in to the store, he wouldn't stand there and watch you to see if you were pocketing his stuff or trying to steal. He would always talk to you and ask you about your day and how you're doing.”
Among those Patel is survived by is his wife, who is six months pregnant. The couple’s Farren Avenue apartment burned to the ground January 31.
Police are searching for two suspects who were involved in the homicide. They were seen running from the area with masks on, and have been described as:
- Suspect 1: Masked with black gloves, wearing a lighter gray hoodie with "Jordan" printed on the left sleeve. He also wore sneakers and shot the victim with a revolver
- Suspect 2: Masked with gloves, wearing a darker gray or darker blue sweatshirt with text printed on the front. He also wore dark or black pants and all or mostly white sneakers. He shot the victim with a semi-automatic handgun.
The suspects went south on Fulton Terrace on foot and then made a left on Kendall Street.
Officers now say this was a robbery as well. Money and a box of cigars were stolen from the store. On Monday night officers taped off a secondary scene, where they said they found items that appeared to have been taken from the store.
If you saw anything or have any information for police, please call 203-946-6304.