Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Shooting victim back running St. Petersburg store

ST. PETERSBURG — Two weeks after a robber shot him three times, Narendra Patel was back standing in the same spot where he came under fire:

The cash register at the Star Deli.

"I have no choice," he said Wednesday.

That's because the convenience store at 2451 Fifth Ave. N is the only way the Patel family can make a living.

But it has not been a safe living. The 53-year-old store owner and father of two has been shot twice in the past six years.

The latest robbery took place Dec. 1 when police said Patel was shot in the right foot, chest and left hand by a masked robber.

A witness told police the gunman appeared upset with what he stole from the register.

Two days later, the victim's brother, Indravadan Patel, also became a victim when his store, Suhani, was robbed at 2539 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. N.

A masked gunman jumped over the counter and shot the 46-year-old father of three on Dec. 3.

The same two men may be responsible for both robberies, police said. Detectives don't believe the family was being targeted, but their stores may have shared the same vulnerabilities.

That's why the Patel family is taking more precautions these days. The owner was working alone when he was shot. Now two people work at all times. They also had an electronic door lock installed. Before the robbery anyone could come and go. Now the door stays locked at night until a patron rings the bell.

It took Narendra Patel a year to return to work when a robber's bullet took a piece of his lung in 2002. This time, it was just a matter of days.

But it hasn't been easy. He keeps his crutches behind the counter. He sits on a high chair behind the register when he can't stand anymore.

"I'm still in pain," he said.

His brother was more seriously injured by a gunshot to the stomach and remains in Bayfront Medical Center almost three weeks later.

The family said he is out of danger but may have to remain in the hospital for another week or two.

Anyone with information about the robberies is asked to call the St. Petersburg Police Department at (727) 893-7164 or at (727) 893-7780.

Jamal Thalji can be reached at or (727) 893-8472.

Shooting victim back running St. Petersburg store 12/17/08 [Last modified: Monday, December 22, 2008 4:11pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Trump reveals that he didn't record Comey after all


    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump declared Thursday he never made and doesn't have recordings of his private conversations with ousted former FBI director James Comey, ending a monthlong guessing game that he started with a cryptic tweet and that ensnared his administration in yet more controversy.

    President Donald Trump said Thursday that he didn’t record his conversations with James Comey.
  2. Lightning fans, don't get attached to your first-round draft picks

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — When Lightning GM Steve Yzerman announces his first-round pick tonight in the amateur draft at No. 14, he'll invite the prospect onto the stage for the once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunity.

    Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Jonathan Drouin (27) eludes  Montreal Canadiens left wing Phillip Danault (24) during the second period of Wednesday???‚??„?s (12/28/16) game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Montreal Canadiens at the Amalie Arena in Tampa.
  3. Investigation Discovery TV show profiles 2011 Landy Martinez murder case


    The murder of a St. Petersburg man will be featured this week on a new true crime series Murder Calls on Investigation Discovery.

    Jose Adame sits in a Pinellas County courtroom during his 2016 trial and conviction for first-degree murder. Adame was convicted of first-degree murder last year for torturing and then executing his boyfriend as he pleaded for his life in 2011. Now it will be featured in a new true crime series Murder Calls on Investigation Discovery. The episode will air on June 26 at 9 p.m. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD   |   Times]
  4. Uhuru mayoral candidate Jesse Nevel protests exclusion from debate


    ST. PETERSBURG — Jesse Nevel, the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement candidate for mayor, on Thursday demanded that he be allowed to participate in a July 25 televised debate between incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman and challenger Rick Baker.

    Mayoral candidate Jesse Nevel holds a news conference outside the headquarters of the Tampa Bay Times on Thursday to protest his exclusion from the mayoral debate. Nevel is a member of the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement.
  5. Lightning GM Steve Yzerman also has top-9 wing on his wish list

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — Much has been made about the Lightning's interest in bolstering its blue line, even after last week's acquisition of defense prospect Mikhail Sergachev.

    Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman gestures as he speaks to the media about recent trades during a news conference before an NHL hockey game against the Carolina Hurricanes Wednesday, March 1, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. The Lightning, over the past few days, have traded goaltender Ben Bishop to the Los Angeles Kings, forward Brian Boyle to the Toronto Maple Leafs, and forward Valtteri Filppula to the Philadelphia Flyers. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) TPA101