A new surveillance video could provide crucial clues into the Jan. 25 murder of an Indian American man in Miami Beach, Florida.
Kamil Patel, 29, who had just moved to the city three weeks earlier to work as the manager of the Prada Bal Harbour, was out late that evening walking with his friend Katy Park. Park and Patel knew each other in Dallas, where the victim formerly resided and worked for Louis Vuitton. (See earlier India-West story here.)
The surveillance video shows a man getting out of a white 2017 Honda Accord and firing several shots, which downed Patel. The car then drove away, as seen in the video.
On a GoFundMe page for Patel, Park said Patel saved her life. “A small African American male got out of the passenger side of a white car pointing a gun at us. He fired two shots that hit Kamil in the left shoulder and abdomen, then got back in the car and disappeared,” wrote Park.
“I am alive because Kamil protected me. He didn’t hesitate. His last words were ‘Katy, keep walking,’” wrote Park. “He never met a stranger, went out of his way to help people, was an incredible, loyal friend, and loved his family more than anything or anyone,” she wrote.
Patel was killed a week before his 30th birthday.
Police have identified 33-year-old Tyrone Jackson as the shooter. Jackson has been charged with first degree murder and a felony charge of carrying an unauthorized weapon, according to his online booking report. He has been held without bail since Feb. 9 at the Miami-Dade County Pre-Trial Detention Center.
The driver of the car – Jeremiah Grant Dorvilus – has also been charged with first degree murder, according to his online booking report. Dorvilus is being held at the same facility, also without bail.
A witness – who was in the back of the car when the shooting occurred – came forward after police offered a $15,000 reward for information related to the crime. The witness identified Jackson at the prodding of his mother, but his family was reportedly upset with police for some time afterwards because they had not received the reward money. They have since received $15,000.
“That’s messed up,” the witness told Miami7News. “He killed some random person. Innocent. Walking around, having fun with his girl.”
A timeline for the trial is not yet known.
More than $26,000 has been raised on the GoFundMe page honoring Patel, https://www.gofundme.com/justice-for-kamil, which allowed law enforcement to offer a larger reward for information about the crime, according to Park.
The Patel family and the Buffalo, New York rugby community have also set up a scholarship in Kamil’s name to honor his legacy: http://buffalorugby.org/scholarship. The scholarship will assist high school rugby players who plan to continue their education in college while playing rugby, with renewable scholarships of up to $500 per athlete.
Patel, who grew up in in Tonawanda, New York, played rugby at Kenmore East High School, alongside his brother Dannish. He went on to play at the University of Buffalo and with the Buffalo Rugby Men’s Club.
“Although Kamil was a very good athlete and an exceptional rugby player, it was not those attributes which endeared him to his coaches, teammates, family, and friends,” supporters wrote on a page announcing the scholarship.
“Kamil was the exceptional individual who thrived on bringing people together. He always had a smile. He was inclusive, positive, supportive and eager for the next adventure. Kamil’s joy for life and his love for people made him an unforgettable person within our rugby community. His unbelievable ability to make those around him laugh and smile will never be forgotten.”
Dannish Patel wrote on the GoFundMe page: “To see nearly 400 people and more attend his (memorial) service, it truly shows what character he had and what an overall amazing person he was.”
“Though we are happy that justice is being served, closure still feels like something that is far away for my family at this point. Losing Kamil has left an indescribable void that will take a long time for us to come to terms with,” wrote Dannish.