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Video of Macon store clerk’s slaying released

The Macon Police Department released Wednesday morning the surveillance video from Sunday’s fatal shooting of convenience store clerk Dipak “Danny” Patel.

A camera captured the gunman firing the shot after his accomplice was headed out of the Chevron on Riverside Drive with the money.

“We need to get this dangerous thug off the street,” said Macon Police Chief Mike Burns. “We feel like we’re dealing with a cold-hearted person. We need to get him off the street as soon as we can.”

The video shows a man dressed in black holding a rifle that’s pointed toward the two store clerks during the entire one-and-a-half-minute recording. Only one of the camera angles initially was released in video form. Still photographs from other cameras showing the accomplice with a black and blue backpack also have been made public.

Two customers held their hands up during the whole incident, police said.

Police Capt. Robert Grabowski said investigators had to process videos captured from multiple cameras before they were able to release it Wednesday, three days after the killing.

Grabowski wants people to pay particular attention to the gunman’s clothing. He wore a black jacket or shirt that had thin light-colored stripes at the sleeves and waistband. Some sort of insignia is over the left side of the chest, but investigators have not been able to determine its design.

The killer also had on distinctive shoes that appeared to be black with a white flap on the top. He was continually rocking nervously as he held the rifle toward the store workers.

The image captures the gunshot that killed Patel but is barely noticeable in the video.

Detectives are trying to determine what was said during the holdup, but the audio portion of the recording is distorted, Grabowski said.

“We’re looking into how they came into the store, how they left the store, which direction they left afterward,” he said.

Police also are checking images of vehicles traveling near the store just prior to the robbery.

“From what we can understand right now, Mr. Patel and everyone inside the store did exactly what they were told, and we can see no reason as to why the gunman fired a round at Mr. Patel,” Grabowski said.

Burns said it’s highly unusual for a robber to shoot a cooperative clerk and to fire a gun after money is taken.

“Someone knows who he is,” Burns said. “He doesn’t need to live in a neighborhood. We want to get him behind bars where he belongs.”

Anyone who recognizes the gunman and his partner is asked to call Macon Regional CrimeStoppers at (877) 68-CRIME or call detectives directly at 447-2331.

To contact writer Liz Fabian, call 744-4303.

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