A SIXTEEN-year old boy has been arrested after a shopkeeper was killed for refusing to sell cigarette papers to three teenage thugs.
Dad-of-two Vijay Patel, 49, died after he was punched in the chest while bravely battling to stop the feral youths tearing up his shop in Mill Hill, London.
The blow sent the store owner crashing to the ground, where he suffered a fatal brain injury after his head smashed into the pavement.
A sixteen year old boy was arrested on suspicion of murder, and was taken to a North London police station where he remains in custody.
Brother Prakash, 47, said: “He was the greatest man in the world. He died trying to protect the shop.”
His heartbroken niece, Srutiben Patel, 19, added: “He was an inspiration for us, in how he behaved with everyone.”
Mr Patel died of his wounds on Monday evening after two harrowing days in intensive care at Paddington’s St Mary’s Hospital.
His colleague, who was also injured in the attack, revealed how brave Vijay confronted the three teens as they threatened to smash the shop window after they were denied Rizla papers.
He told the Daily Mail: “There were three of these guys but none of them had an ID.
“One of them got a bank card out and I said ‘this is not a form of ID’, but they continued threatening and abusing us so I asked them gently to leave because I can’t risk my licence over that.
“They left the shop but they threatened me again afterwards saying “we are going to smash the shop window’.
“In that instant Vijay went outside by the door and after a few seconds I went out as well and at that moment Vijay was hit in the chest with a lot of force”.
Detective Inspector Ian Lott, from the Met’s Homicide and Major Crime Command, said: “What we know now is that two shopworkers have rightly refused to sell items to youths they believed to be under age.
“The three teenage suspects have then made threats before violently attacking both shopkeepers.’