NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – It was standing room only as loved ones gathered in memory of a loving husband, father and son shot and killed while working.
Hundreds of family and friends attended Vishal Patel’s funeral Friday at Highland Hills Funeral Home, a testament to how well loved the owner of the Kwik Sak in Hermitage was. Vishal was tragically shot and killed Monday at the hands of two young teenagers from Kentucky, according to the police.
Vishal’s family invited News 2 inside the service, saying they wanted to show just how many people are suffering from the senseless killing. Inside, prayers echoed through every room of the funeral home with profound grief and sorrow. Patel’s wife sat feet from the open casket, a difficult sight to witness as loved ones consoled the new widow.
Vishal moved from India to America a decade ago. His values and work ethic set an example for family like cousin Piyush Patel.
“We are deeply going to miss him so much,” Piyush said. “We are at a loss for words. We don’t know how, if ever, we will be able to process such a big loss. He was an inspiration to a lot of us in the family. We were always like family, it was always, he was always there.”
Vishal was known for making others smile, a gift often witnessed through the eyes of his 9-year-old daughter.
“He was an incredible father, he loved his daughter so much. You could tell every time they were together he was making her laugh, he was making her feel like she was loved. I can’t face her right now. I tried yesterday and all I did was hug and cry cause, like I said, as a family together in everything, so seeing them right now breaks all of our hearts, seeing his wife and his daughter, his parents are heartbroken,” Piyush explained. .
The family continues to mourn while grasping the reality of moving forward without the man that they say lived up to his name. Vishal means grand, immense, great, all adjectives fitting for the heartache in the funeral home.
“The loss is so big for us, that it’s a world loss to us. It’s an entire world that we will never see again; we will never see his smile again,” Piyush began to cry before walking away.
The family is now left with questions as to whether the murder of their loved one could have been prevented seeing that the teenagers are also accused in a robbery at the 7-Eleven the day before Vishal was killed.
State Representative Darren Jernigan spoke at the funeral, giving Vishal’s loved ones a sense of hope that the streets will be safer.
“We mourn the loss of Vishal Patel and we ask for prayers for his family to uphold them, and you are correct when you say we need to double down on particularly youth violence that’s on the rise,” Rep. Jernigan told the crowd, calling it an untimely death.
A GoFundMe account has been set up to help Vishal’s wife and daughter.