LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - They usually compete against each other for business, but a tragic loss has brought gas station owners and employees in Lexington together. They're honoring a clerk murdered in a shooting earlier this week.
Mukeshbhai Patel, 51, died Monday when he was shot while working at a Marathon station on Alexandria Drive. Lexington Police charged Travis Bredhold, 18, with the murder.
Every gas station has a story and a way that they can relate to what happened at the Marathon station on Alexandria Drive. And that's why they are now all pulling together in support.
"The gas station job is very, very dangerous. It's tough," said Madan Singh, Patel's former coworker at the Marathon station.
Gas station clerks like Madan Singh say danger lurks every night he's at work. Just months ago the Valero station on Lane Allen Road got a little taste of that danger.
"It can happen to anyone," said Singh. "It was almost like three or four months ago when somebody tried to get in. I think it was a stone or a bullet or something that broke the window."
So when he heard his former coworker, known as Mike Patel, was gunned down while working, his fear only heightened.
"He was my coworker. He was a good guy. He was nice to everybody," said Singh. "It's scary and you never know what can happen, so you have to be very careful."
Having worked with Patel at that Marathon station, Singh says he's sent his condolences along many others working at local gas stations.
"I support them. This is a hard time. This is a very, very hard time for the family," said Singh.
Clerks in the area tell us that they plan on attending Patel's funeral on Friday in Richmond. It's scheduled for 11 a.m. at Oldham, Roberts and Powell Funeral Home.