Rome residents are mourning the death of a gas station owner who was killed Tuesday when a man opened fire in two separate convenience stores, minutes apart.
Parmjit Singh, a 44-year-old father of two high school students, was shot multiple times Tuesday evening at the Hi Tech Quick Stop on Burnett Ferry Road, sheriff’s officers said. The Floyd County coroner pronounced him dead on the scene.
Just 10 minutes after shooting Singh, the gunman entered another convenience store, Elm Street Food and Beverage, and stole money before shooting 30-year-old clerk Parthey Patel, sheriff’s officers said. Patel was in critical condition Wednesday at Floyd County Medical Center.
The suspect, Lamar Rashad Nicholson, 28, was arrested on multiple charges, including murder, aggravated robbery, aggravated assault, possession of a firearm while committing a crime and use of a firearm by a convicted felon. He is being held without bond in the Floyd County jail.
Nicholson was not charged with robbery in Singh’s shooting, and a “statement of charges” from the Floyd County sheriff’s office doesn’t indicate the suspect took anything from Singh’s store.
Nicholson, a convicted felon, was arrested just a few weeks ago for violently snatching up his 3-year-old daughter by the arm, according to a report from the Floyd County sheriff’s office. He faced charges of child cruelty, disorderly conduct and simple battery in connection with that incident.
Singh’s brother-in-law, Harry Singh, remembered the store owner as a personable man who was friendly with everyone he met.
“Whenever we all sit down and have a family get-together, he’s always the center of attention. He’s the one who tells us stories and jokes,” Harry Singh said.
Harry Singh said his brother-in-law started out driving limousines in New York before moving to Michigan to get into the convenience store business. He moved to Georgia about five years ago to be closer to family and ended up owning two stores in Rome — one on Martha Berry Boulevard and another on Burnett Ferry Road, where he died.
He and his wife of 20 years had just bought a house — one of his lifetime goals, Harry Singh said.
“He was a very hardworking man,” Harry Singh said. “He worked 14 hours a day.”
Hi Tech Quick Stop customers took to Facebook to pay tribute to Singh, who they remember as being a kind and polite man who enjoyed joking with his customers.
One customer, Florence McCain of Rome, said Singh’s family had only just bought and renovated their Burnett Ferry store in September.
“They were just so nice, the whole family,” McCain said. “I was kidding with him just a couple of weeks ago.”
Daniela Comacho, a Rome resident, said she shopped at the Hi Tech Quick Stop specifically because of Singh’s kindness.
“I liked to go, not because it was close by but because of how nice of a person he was,” Comacho said. “He was always interested in knowing that everyone was having a good day.”
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