Friends, colleagues mourn slain Alabama hotelier

AAHOA regional director remembers Pravin Patel as ‘family-oriented’ and ‘a keen businessman’

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Pravin Raojibhai Patel obituary
Sheffield, Alabama, police investigate the Hillcrest Motel where the owner, 76-year-old Pravin Raojibhai Patel, was gunned down by a man seeking a room. Photo courtesy of WAAY 31 News.

PRAVIN RAOJIBHAI PATEL, Alabama hotelier who was gunned down Feb. 8 after an altercation at his hotel, is being remembered by leaders at AAHOA as a family man and a good businessman. AAHOA also is condemning the killing as a senseless act of violence.

William Jeremy Moore, 34, was arrested in connection with the shooting of Patel, 76, originally from the village of Anand in Gujarat, India, according to the Sheffield, Alabama, Police Department. Moore came to the Hilllcrest Motel that Patel owned and tried to get a room when an altercation started between the two men.

“That is when Mr. Moore pulled a handgun and shot Mr. Patel,” Sheffield Police Chief Ricky Terry said in the report. “Mr. Moore was quickly apprehended by Sheffield Police on 13th Avenue when he was trying to break into an abandoned house.  When searching Mr. Moore, the murder weapon was found in his possession.”

William Jeremy Moore, 34, was arrested in connection with the shooting of Patel.

Moore is being held in the Sheffield City Jail until a warrant is issued, Terry said, and he will then be transported to the Colbert County Jail.  Sanjay Patel, AAHOA’s Alabama regional director, said in a statement that Pravin Patel spent more than four decades in the town of Sheffield, owning and operating the same motel.

“He was a very family-oriented person, jolly, and a keen businessman,” Sanjay said. “Everyone in town knew him as a familiar face in the community after being there 40-plus years, and the family was well-known in the community for being genuine and caring.”

Bharat Patel, AAHOA chairman, condemned the killing.

“Senseless acts of violence have no place in our communities, and our hearts are breaking for Pravin’s family, including his wife, children, and grandchildren,” he said. “No family should have to endure what Pravin’s family is going through, and we send our condolences to everyone who knew and loved him.”

“The loss of a loved one under such circumstances is an unimaginable tragedy that no family should ever have to endure,” said Laura Lee Blake, AAHOA president and CEO. “As a long-standing businessman in his community, Pravin was known for his kindness and his beautiful family. We pray for great comfort and strength during this impossibly difficult time for those who knew and loved him, and for his legacy of service and hospitality to continue for many generations to come.”

A funeral service was held for Patel at Morrison Funeral Home in Tuscumbia, Alabama, on Feb. 12, according to Patel’s obituary. He is survived by his wife, Renukaben Patel, two children and other family. His parents, Raojibhai and Maniben Patel, and another brother, Hasmukh Patel, previously passed away.

In 2021, Cleveland, Mississippi, hotelier Yogesh Patel was beaten to death by a guest he had had evicted from his hotel earlier in the day. In March of that year, Usha and Dilip Patel were victims of a shooting in their Elkton, Maryland, hotel that left Usha dead and her husband wounded. Other similar incidents also were reported that year.