NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - A community is shaken as Newport News Police continue to investigate a double homicide that happened inside of a 7-Eleven in Kiln Creek Wednesday night.
Thursday night, a memorial grows outside the convenience store as the community honors two 7-Eleven employees who were shot and killed inside the store.
"You know, it's hard to believe this would happen here. We're a peaceful community, a loving community, and it's just a sad situation," said Kiln Creek resident James Jennings.
The deaths are hitting home.
"I'll go in there just to get change because I'm getting my car cleaned and I didn't have any quarters. I'll go in there sometimes and ask them to get me some change, and we'll chit-chat for a few minutes, you know. They're really nice people," said Mark Davis, who also lives in the area.
The shooting happened right before midnight at the store in the Fairway Plaza Shopping Center. The call to police came from a concerned customer who noticed no one was working.
News 3 spoke with Newport News Police Chief Chief Steve Drew, and he said when police arrived, they found 52-year-old Preyas Patel and 35-year-old Logan Edward Thomas dead at the scene.
"It looks like this is a robbery. We're looking at surveillance footage. It has been some footage that is available," said Drew.
As the search continues for the man who pulled the trigger, detectives are scouring the neighborhoods looking for witnesses.
"It's just the fact that someone will take somebody's life - whether it will be for robbery or just because. It's just always sad to know that happens in your neighborhood, you know," Davis said.
7-Eleven headquarters sent a statement about the loss of their two employees:
"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."
News 3 reporter Kelsey Jones spoke with some of Patel's friends. They did not want to go on camera, but they remember their friend as a sweet, loving man who would do anything to help anyone.
Police are asking anyone with information to please step up and call 1-888-LOCK-U-UP (1-888-562-6877).