NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — Update: On June 24, the 7-Eleven corporation announced a $10,000 reward in addition to the Crime Line award that was previously announced. In order to get this reward, you cannot remain anonymous. Please call Detective Rogers at 757-928-4219.
Newport News Police Chief Steve Drew said it remains unclear who's behind the killing of two men inside a 7-Eleven off Kiln Creek Parkway.
Police have identified the victims as 52-year-old Preyas Patel, of Yorktown, and 35-year-old Logan Edward Thomas, of Newport News. Chief Drew later confirmed the two were employees of the business.
"I got here around midnight, and there was some family already here. With any loss of life, it is hard to see numerous family members and have to share with them what has happened," Chief Drew said.
In a news conference Thursday afternoon, Chief Drew said although the investigation is still in an early stage, the lead theory is that it was a robbery situation.
“I don’t want to get into what’s been taken or numbers yet, because of the information still coming in and what we’re still processing," he said.
A media contact for 7-Eleven sent the following statement to 13News Now:
“We are heartbroken over the loss of two members of the 7-Eleven family. Our hearts are with their families at this difficult time. We are gathering information and aiding law enforcement officials in their investigation.” -7-Eleven, Inc.
Police first got the call about a "suspicious situation" because a customer noticed there was little activity inside, even though it was supposed to be open.
As of June 21, police are looking for at least one suspect they believe to be behind the killings. They released this surveillance footage from the store.
"I walk by myself in the daylight hours, not nighttime. And I don’t expect to be shot. That doesn’t enter my mind, that I would be shot," Alice Smith, a passing Kiln Creek neighbor said Thursday afternoon.
Early Thursday morning, the police department was still collecting evidence from the scene and interviewing people in the neighborhood. Chief Drew noted that they've moved toward gathering video evidence from inside and outside the business, along with accompanying video from nearby ring cameras.
If you know anything that could help detectives working to solve the case, call the area's Crime Line at 1–888-LOCK-U-UP or submit an anonymous tip online. If your tip leads to an arrest, you could be eligible for a cash reward.