Store Owner's Wife: "He Loved Every Customer"

5:24 PM, Jul 24, 2013   |    comments
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Gibsonville, NC -- He was a father of three, an uncle, and a brother - Pareesh Shah was all of that and a husband trying to make a life for his family in Guilford County.

Police say a robber, a woman, shot him last weekend and left him for dead in his own store.

Shah's family says it took three days for what happened to their loved-one to set in as reality.

Since Saturday, every time the house phone or a door bell would ring, his wife and children say, they thought it was Shah coming home.

It wasn't until the funeral on Tuesday that they finally accepted that he's gone.

"He was an inspiration for all of us on how to live life. And now, I don't know how it will be like. We can't imagine our life without him," said Shah's daughter, Dharika.

The family says the 61-year-old was the most positive man they knew: full of life and all around a good man just trying to provide for his family.

"He would walk into the house in the afternoon time and we'll engage in a conversation with him on how his day was and now we won't have that anymore," Dharika cried.

The family's worst fears were realized on Saturday when police say a woman dressed in what appears to be sweat pants, a hooded top and a mask, walked into Shah's convenience store in Gibsonville.

Shah put up a fight when the woman tried to rob him and that's when police say she shot Shah three times.

Shah took ownership of the business two months ago in an attempt to leave behind a High Point store where he was robbed and injured last year, according to the family.

"All of us just had a fear in us 24/7 and it sort of started to go away when we bought the new store," said Dharika, with the rest of the family echoing the same sentiment.

There's a growing memorial where the small community welcomed him before his untimely death.

"He wanted to make everyone feel like this was their store as well as his," said Sherrod Summers, a customer who lived not too far from the store. "For someone to come in and kill him over some change, it makes no sense."

Customers like Summers are outraged , while business owners along Gibsonville's West Main Street are in shock.

A small group in the community is organizing a vigil for a man they barely knew.

"It hit home. It was one of those things that you think you're in a small town and things like this don't happen but this shows you that it does," said April Murray, a local business woman.

Murray started the movement to organize the candlelight service on the town green to held Thursday evening.

Everyone is invited to the event -- which will include a procession through town and end at Shah's convenience store - Ken's Quickie Mart.

The family plans to attends.

Rita Shah, the business owner's wife says, all her family wants now is for his killer to be brought to justice and an answer as to why she killed a family-man over a few dollars.

"He loved every customer. He was so nice," Rita cried, surrounded by her children and Shah's sister.

The family is asking anyone with information about the robbery to come forward.

As for the suspect , a $5,000 reward is being offered for any information leading to her arrest.

This is Gibsonville's first homicide since 2007, according to police.

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