LAGRANGE, Ga. - A LaGrange gas station owner is thanking God after the tables turned on a robbing crew who tried to ambush him.
LaGrange Police say it appears one of the assailants mistakenly shot the other as they were firing on Harry Patel, his wife, and a store employee.
So for Harry Patel, it is not business Thursday afternoon an ambush just before midnight Wednesday.
He was on his way home on a somewhat isolated road leading to his neighborhood.
He, his wife and an employee were in the employee’s SUV when they spotted two men seemingly broken down in a car on the side of the road.
Then Mr. Patel saw something else.
“I saw he got a gun and he pulled the gun so I told my employee, run away this is a robbery,” said Patel.
He said his employee, who was driving, stepped on the accelerator as everyone in the Honda ducked down to avoid getting shot.
Patel said both sides of the SUV were hit by gunfire from a gunman who was wearing a mask positioned on the front left side of the vehicle and the other man firing from the back right side.
“The moment my car left the back side guy shoot the front side guy. That’s what happened and the front side guy he was killed,” said Patel.
LaGrange Police said when officers responded to the scene of the crime after a 911 call from Mr. Patel they found the body of a black man, believed to be in his 20’s about six feet tall, 350 pounds or so in the street.
But he had no ID and his fingerprints haven’t turned up anything.
“We have not been able to identify the person that we located there, the deceased person there,” said Lt. Dale Strickland with the LaGrange Police Department.
He said investigators suspect Patel was targeted by a robbing crew which may have cased his business and believed he had cash. Patel told FOX 5 News he was not carrying cash and never carries cash.
He now believes a higher power intervened in keeping he and the others alive.
“That’s a blessing you know, a God blessing,” said Patel.
Mr. Patel and the other two suffered minor injuries, cuts from glass which broke in the gunfire.
The body of the apparent gunman was sent to the GBI Crime Lab where further tests could help identify him.
A weapon was discovered at the crime scene but it’s unclear if it was the same gun which killed the apparent gunman.