Indian-American motel owner shot dead in North Carolina

Last Updated 12 November 2017, 13:40 IST

An Indian-origin owner of a motel was shot dead and four other people were injured in a shootout in the US state of North Carolina, police said.

Akash R Talati, 40, who owned Knights Inn and Diamondz Gentlemen's Club in Fayetteville city, was an innocent bystander when a man who had been escorted out of the club returned soon and exchanged gunfire with a security guard yesterday, police Detective Jamaal Littlejohn said.

Police said they were called to the club at 1:51 AM on Saturday.

Littlejohn said Markeese Dewitt, 23, of Fayetteville has been charged with attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury.

Littlejohn said Dewitt was shot four or five times and remained in serious condition at Cape Fear Valley Medical Centre, reported.

He said only Dewitt and the security guard exchanged gunfire and the others were bystanders.

One of the victims was in a fair condition at the hospital. The two others were treated and released. Talati died at the hospital.

Talati is reportedly from Anand in Gujarat.

Police have not released the names of three other people who were injured. Littlejohn said they included the security guard and a female employee of the club who operated the cash register.

Littlejohn said security escorted Dewitt out of the club because he had caused a disturbance. He said Dewitt appeared to have gone to his vehicle, got a gun, went back inside the club and started shooting.

Littlejohn said police have no idea what caused Dewitt to get kicked out of the club.

"All we know is he got put out, he goes and gets a gun and it goes crazy from there," Littlejohn said.

Detectives are actively investigating the homicide and shooting and have appealed to the public to contact them if they have any information on the incident.

(Published 12 November 2017, 13:34 IST)

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