ELKHART — About 30 people gathered at a memorial set up outside Saleh’s Market at 401 Middlebury St. on Friday night, Sept. 6, to remember 55-year-old Jagtar Bhatti, the store owner, and cashier Pawan Singh, 20.
“They fed us many times,” said Donna Underwood, who has lived near the market for eight years. “They did not let a kid go hungry in this neighborhood.”
Underwood said all residents had to do was ask for milk, diapers or whatever they needed and the store’s owners and employees were happy to help them.
One day when Underwood was in the store, she didn’t feel well and started shaking, she said. One of the employees recognized that her blood sugar was low, gave her a soda and had her sit down until she felt better.
“I have diabetes but I didn’t know it then,” Underwood said. “Then when I left I tried to pay him (for the soda) and he wouldn’t take it. They made sure I left with food too.”
One woman said Singh always called her “Mom” when she came to the store.
“It’s sad because the person who did this was like a son to me and the person he killed was like a son to me,” she said, starting to cry. “My heart is just broken in half.”
Police on Friday arrested Kevin Moore, 28, for the shooting.
Several people at the vigil said Moore may have had mental health problems.
Dionell Hill organized Friday’s vigil and said he lived in the neighborhood for about five years before moving to another part of the city.
“They lost a good one,” Hill said. “They were all good. They only thing they tried to do was reach out and help the community.”
Hill said he organized the vigil to remember the men and what they did for the community and to rally the community to live by their example.
“They was good people,” Hill said. “They weren’t scared of nobody. There’s no reason we should be scared of one another. We should love one another.”