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Buena Park Man Shot to Death

September 24, 2003|Julie Tamaki | Times Staff Writer

A 57-year-old Buena Park man was shot and killed outside a Long Beach strip mall Tuesday, authorities said.

The shooting happened as the victim, Vadilal Patel, walked outside the mall in the 8100 block of Wardlow Street about 12:15 p.m., Long Beach Police Sgt. Paul LeBaron said. Two men walked up to him and one shot him, LeBaron said. Robbery was a possible motive, authorities said.

The two men left the scene on foot, but police were investigating whether a red truck found running near the shopping center was related to the crime.

Amrish Patel, a family friend, said he thought that Vadilal Patel had been making copies at a drugstore at the mall. He said Patel ran a general merchandise wholesale business in Buena Park.

Vadilal Patel was a native of India, but had been in the United States for several years, LeBaron said.

He is survived by his wife, three sons and a daughter, all of whom live in India with the exception of one son, Amrish Patel said.

"He was a very nice man," Amrish Patel said of his friend.

Police did not have a description of the assailants but detectives were interviewing numerous witnesses, LeBaron said.

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