56-year-old Indian man shot dead in crossfire outside US motel

New York: A 56-year-old Indian man has been killed after getting caught in crossfire outside a motel in the US state of Tennessee, becoming the fifth from the community to be killed in the country since February.

Khandu Patel, father of two, worked as a housekeeper at Americas Best Value Inn and Suites in Whitehaven, a report in Fox13Memphis said. The incident occurred on Monday when about 30 shots went off. Investigators say one of those bullets hit Patel.

He was standing at the back of the motel when he was shot and later died at the Regional Medical Centre. Khandu had worked at the inn for about eight months. His wife and children lived at the motel with him.

“He finished his days’ work and was out walking around the property. Next thing you know he hears some gunshots flying around and one caught him in the chest,” Jay Patel, the victim’s nephew, was quoted as saying by the report. “He didn’t even make it to the hospital to be saved.”

He added that the family was ready to shift to another location for a new job. “He was ready to get out of there,” said Jay Patel. “Just trying to put food on the table so he had to take what he had at the time.”

Investigators have put up flyers all over the motel asking for information about the killer, which notes there is a Crime Stoppers reward. The report added that Patel’s nephew is asking anyone with information to come forward help the family get justice.

On February 22, Indian engineer Srinivas Kuchibhotla was killed when a US Navy veteran opened fire at him and his friend before yelling “get out of my country” in Kansas. Harnish Patel, a 43-year-old Indian-origin store owner, was found dead of gunshot wounds in the front yard of his home in Lancaster, South Carolina, in early March.

On March 23, Sasikala Narra (38) and her son Anish Narra (6) were found dead inside their apartment in New Jersey.