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Grandmother of alleged triggerman in clerk’s fatal shooting: ‘We are deeply sorry’

Posted at 7:58 PM, Jan 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-20 20:01:44-05

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- One of the men accused of shooting and killing a beloved Chesterfield convenience store owner faced a judge Wednesday.

It's a case that still has left a family shaken and the Walmsley Boulevard area of Chesterfield reeling.

Now three suspects allegedly involved in Harshad Patel's murder are making their way through the legal system.

Trayvon Wilhite, a 14-year-old suspect and Thomas L. Jennings III

Trayvon Wilhite, a 14-year-old suspect and Thomas L. Jennings III

The latest is Trayvon Wilhite, who police said fired the gun at the convenience store owner on Jan. 11.

Wilhite turned 19 years old just three weeks before Patel’s murder. Now he is facing four serious felony charges of first-degree murder, attempted robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.

Wilhite appeared before a judge with one lone supporter, his grandmother. She spoke up telling the judge she planned to hire an attorney to represent Wilhite.

After court, she said little as she quickly brushed past the media. But when asked about Patel's family, Wilhite's grandmother said “we are deeply sorry.”

Trayvon Wilhite's grandmother faces reporters as she exits the courthouse.

Trayvon Wilhite's grandmother faces reporters as she exits the courthouse.

Wilhite is scheduled to appear in court on Feb. 17 to update the judge on who his attorney is.

In the meantime, the once bustling convenience store sits idle with no customers and painful memories that will likely never go away for the Patel family and many in the community.

Police are still hunting for the fourth person who was also involved in the murder who authorities said  was wearing a ski mask.

If you have information that could help investigators, call Crime Solvers at 804-748-0660.