CRIME

Raj Patel shooting: Surveillance video released in cold case murder

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MPD officials are hoping that the release of surveillance video in a 2010 cold case murder will jog minds and lead to the arrest of suspects in a shooting that stunned a Northeast D.C. community.

It was the week Dec. 18 2010 when two men in hooded sweatshirts walked into the Newton Foodmart in Brookland, then shot and killed 46-year-old Raj Patel in front of his wife and son.

The shooting sent shockwaves through the tightly-knit Northeast D.C. Community.

"It was one of those rare incidents...we don't have a lot of that in this neighborhood," Brookland resident William Jones said.

Just days after the cold-blooded killing, Brookland neighbors gathered in force in honor of Patel, who gave free candy to children and didn't bat an eye if you were short on money.

The brief, 19-second long video shows the two suspects walking into the store. One then immediately brandishes a gun and points it at the clerk behind he counter. After the shooting, Patel's grieving wife sold the store and disappeared from the community.

Down the street at Beverly's House of Hairstyles, Patel's unsolved murder is marked with sadness.

"You always have it in the back of your mind," stylist Lenora Polk said. "You can't go around letting that control you. I would feel better if they were caught.

Nearly a year and a half later, police officials say this video is now critical in the search for the gunman and his partner. In the meantime, Patel's picture remains on the wall at the Brookland Grill, a reminder that his killer is still out there.

"That's just a horrible crime that somebody should pay for," Brookland resident Brandon Ellis said.

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