Lake Park Convenience Store Reopens After Murder

By: John Rogers
By: John Rogers

The neon sign is lit and the door is unlocked; a far cry since Wednesday.

That's when authorities say 20-year-old Daymon Heard fired shots at the store clerk, 48-year-old Jay Patel.

The father of two later died from his wounds.

Scott Heikell is a frequent customer at the store, and even gave Patel a nickname.

"Caramel," Heikell says. "And he ate caramel pretty much every time I was in here. He had a little pile of them right next to him."

Heikell was mad when he learned of Patel's death, but feels its still important to open the store.

Heikell says, "Just because something bad happens doesn't mean you should close it down forever."

Its now business as usual here, customers are walking in and putting money down, gas tanks are filling up, but one former customer says the store is no longer the same.

Kelly Courson says, "You go in there your gonna think about it, you're gonna see exactly what happened. I don't want to see it, I don't want to go in and see that store."

Staff at the Triangle Food Store mourn the loss of Jay Patel, but felt it was important to reopen and stay in business.

One customer says that's what Jay Patel would have wanted.

Authorities say the suspected killer, 20-year-old Daymon Heard is now being held at the Duval County jail in Jacksonville.

That's where he was caught last Thursday.

He's currently being held on charges of marijuana possession.

The Lowndes County Sheriff's Office says the suspected killer will be extradited to the Lowndes County jail Tuesday.

WCTV has confirmed that 20-year-old Daymon Heard attended Lowndes High School briefly in the Spring of 2005. He later withdrew and attended another school.


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