ALBANY, GA (WALB) - As the search continues for the gunman who killed an Albany mother in an attempted carjacking, the community is rallying around the victim’s family. Right now donations are pouring in to help catch her killer and raise money for her children.
The murder of Meesha Patel, 33, is a shock to both relatives and customers at Devi’s Convenience Store, the store she and her husband owned at the corner of 7th Avenue and Palmyra Road. They say her loss has been greatly felt.
Late Saturday night, Patel was shot and killed while someone tried to rob and car-jack her and her husband while they were closing their store.
“I was just devastated," said family friend Nishant Patel. “I really couldn’t process just what was going on.”
Nishant Patel says he remembers getting the call from his brother.
“At that moment, I packed my bags and came down to Albany and just try to support the family as much as I can.”
He says Meesha was very hard working, often times clocking 12 and 14 hour days, seven days a week.
“She was very friendly, she was kindly. She was always smiling to the customers. She never had a dull moment," said Nishant.
Co-worker Hardik Patel said in the five years she had worked at the store, she never met a stranger.
“Every day every customer expected Meesha. Every customer loved Meesha," said Hardik. “I miss Meesha. We are family anytime.”
“I’ve had multiple customers come by and literally they would cry in front of me," said Nishant. "They would give me flowers just to take to the family.”
Nishant hopes someone comes forward with the information that will track down her killer.
“I just wish and pray that nothing like this happens to any other family, and no one has to go through what they have to," said Nishant.
The family has a GoFundMe page, with a goal of raising $50,000 for her and her husband’s two children.
On Sunday there is a public viewing from 10-2 at Mathews Funeral Home.