LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - He was killed while working at a Lexington gas station. And now a mural made in his memory is nearly complete.
The painting is in remembrance of Mike Patel, 51, who was killed while working at the Marathon gas station on Alexandria Drive at the beginning of the month. The artist, Dani Green, is a friend of the victim.
She started before Christmas and now six days later the mural is basically finished. Dani Green, who is an artist and also a friend of the victim, says it was hard to finish for multiple reasons.
With the weather and constant reminder that her friend is gone, it's been a hard but rewarding project for Green to undertake.
"I wanted to come back even when it was too cold to paint," said Dani Green, the mural's artist and victim's friend. "So there's some rips and tears and burns because it all hurts."
She wasn't always as content as she is now working on this mural.
"This makes me happy," said Green. "I couldn't ask for more.
Green says her life hasn't ever been easy, so she turned to art. When Patel was murdered, Green's friends pushed her to showcase her talent.
"It's not like I'm coming from a rich community doing this on a wall. That's not the case," said Green. "I'm just a regular person. But they made me believe in myself."
Home Depot and Tammy Woodson even donated paint.
"I'm with her, behind her 100 percent because of Mike," said Green.
And it is a finished product besides some minor touch-ups with a life lesson from Gandhi painted for all to see.
"It taught me about violence and how just a quick draw of the gun and your life is gone," said Green.
Green says it wasn't hard to get permission from the gas station to paint on the gas station's exterior in honor of Mike Patel.
The Patel family was not able to comment on camera about the mural but did tell WKYT's Jerrika Insco over the phone that they appreciate the artist's work.