Winston-Salem, NC: The shooting deaths of a Forsyth County couple appear to be a murder-suicide, according to a preliminary investigation by the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office.
Alpa Vishnu Patel, 39, and her husband, Hemang Mahendra Patel, 43, were found with life-threatening gunshot wounds in the bedroom of their Clemmons home on Barrington Oaks Drive. Deputies found the couple early morning.
The Patels were rushed to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. Hemang Patel died just before 2:00 p.m. on July 9, and Alpa Patel died about seven hours later.
The couple had two children, a son and a daughter. The son, who is about 18 or 19, called 911. The daughter was out of town at the time of the shooting.
Chief Deputy Brad Stanley said that based on the preliminary investigation and the evidence collected so far, it appears that the shootings were a murder-suicide. Detectives are trying to determine who shot whom, he said.
Investigators executed a search warrant at the house and seized a .45-caliber semiautomatic gun that Hemang Patel bought in Georgia, and they also collected two 45-caliber shell casings in the house, Stanley said.
The couple had lived in Forsyth County since at least 2009 and had bought their Clemmons home for $326,000 last month, according to property records.
Stanley said the investigation is still open and that detectives are waiting on autopsy results on the Patels.
He said no charges are expected to be filed. Detectives are not seeking any suspects in the shooting, he said.
“We believe the participants in this shooting have been identified,” he said.
Stanley declined to say how many times each had been shot.
The Patels owned the A&J Food Mart on US 19 in Lee County.
Purple ribbons were placed on the door at A&J Food Mart where there is still a sense of shock over the deaths of the Hemang and Alpa Patel.
The couple resided in North Carolina, but Hemang, known to his customers as Ham, still operated the store on US 19 in Leesburg.
Employees and friends say the customers loved Hemang because of his generosity and sense of humor. That’s why they’re having trouble understanding how something like this happened.