Police have arrested two males after CCTV stills were circulated as part of the investigation into the murder of Vijay Patel in Mill Hill.
The two males, aged 16 and 15, were arrested on suspicion of violent disorder after they attended a central London police station on the evening of Wednesday, 10 January.
The Two teenagers have been bailed.
A post-mortem held at Northwick Park Hospital Mortuary on Thursday, 11 Jan at 10:00hrs gave the provisional cause of Mr Patel’s death as head injuries.
Detective Inspector Ian Lott of the Homicide and Major Crime Command leads the investigation and said:
“We are releasing CCTV images of two male youths who were in the shop during the initial dispute and were outside at the time Vijay Patel was assaulted.
“This was an unprovoked and wholly unnecessary attack on a man who was just trying to do his job. It is vitally important that these two males are traced as they undoubtedly have information that could assist our investigation.
“While one male has been charged with Vijay’s murder, I still need the public’s help to ensure all those who were involved in this incident are identified and held to account for their actions.”
'A man has lost his life for no reason other than trying to uphold the law,' police say amid hunt for killers.
While formal identification awaits, officers name the deceased as Vijay Patel, 49, from the Colindale area.
Residents of well-heeled Mill Hill, in north west London, spoke of their shock that such an attack could take place in a largely 'tight-knit, quiet middle class' community.
Late on Monday, 8 January, Detectives made an arrest of a 16-year-old boy on suspicion of murdering the shop staff member at 11:45pm on Saturday, 6 January.
He remains in custody in a north London police station.
Vijay was found lying injured on the pavement outside a Rota Express convenience shop, where members of the public tried to help him.
Three teenage boys had gone into the shop to buy some cigarette papers, but due to concerns about their age they were refused.
Rizla papers, used for hand-rolling cigarettes, are also used to roll joints of cannabis. Like cigarettes, they cannot be sold to anyone aged under 18.
They then became aggressive, threatening to vandalise the shop.
As the boys left, Vijay and a colleague checked outside to ensure no damage was caused to the shop, this is when he was struck once by one of the teenagers causing him to fall to the floor.
The three were seen to run off along The Broadway in the direction of Mill Hill Broadway Station.
The three suspects have been described as:
- A black male teenager wearing a red sweatshirt, black jeans and white trainers.
- A black male teenager wearing a dark grey or black tracksuit and black trainers.
- A black male teenager wearing a dark coloured hooded sweatshirt and black jeans.
Vijay's family are being supported by specially trained family liaison officers.
His brother, Prakash, said: 'We can't believe what's happened. He always wanted to help and do the right thing. He would save money and send it back to India to fund his children's education and our parents.'
He added: 'He fell down backwards so the brain was hurt very badly. It was internal bleeding and they said they couldn't operate.'
His niece, Srutiben Patel, 19, who is studying biomedical science at the University of Roehampton, said: 'He was an inspiration for us, in how he behaved with everyone.'
Mr Patel, who lived in Kingsbury, north west London, has two children, 17-year-old son Dhruv in India and another older son, Neel, studying a computer engineering Masters degree in Australia.
At the time, his wife was visiting relatives near the family home in Vadodara, Gujurat, west India.
Local religious groups and community organisations are planning events to help fundraise for Mr Patel’s family and tributes were gathering outside Rota Express.
A crowdfunding page has been set up on JustGiving by representatives of the local Jewish community to raise money for Mr Patel’s family.
Anyone with any information about the identity of the two suspects or their current whereabouts is asked to contact the Incident Room on 020 8358 0200