Young gunman who killed teenager in sandwich shop apologizes

CLEVELAND – The parents of a teenage boy gunned down at a sandwich shop expressed grief and dismay on Friday during the sentencing of their son’s killer to life in prison with no chance for parole.

The sentencing of 20-year-old Daveion Perry occurred just two weeks after he shot 15-year-old Sunny Ravi Patel to death as Sunny helped his family at a Mr. Hero shop in Cleveland Heights. Perry pleaded guilty to aggravated murder and other charges on Wednesday and agreed to spend the rest of his life in prison in a plea deal to avoid a possible death sentence.

Sunny was a high school sophomore who decided the night of Oct. 14 to help his aunt and uncle at the shop instead of watching a Cleveland Indians playoff game with friends.

Prosecutors said Perry provided a full confession to Sunny’s slaying and other crimes.

Perry sat expressionless as statements from Sunny’s parents and other relatives were read aloud in court. He apologized and asked for forgiveness during a brief statement.

“I know that my actions were wrong, and I deserve to be punished for it,” Perry said. “I hope that sooner or later down the line they can learn to forgive me for it.”

His attorney, Charles Swanson, called the sentence “an appropriate resolution.”

Sunny’s mother, Pinal Patel, said she and her son had an “unbreakable bond” that Perry couldn’t understand.

“You stole from me what can never be replaced,” she said. “God may forgive you, but I won’t.”

Sunny’s father, Ravi Patel, in his statement asked what Perry was thinking before he shot the boy in the back of the head.

“I picked Sunny’s name before he was born because I knew he would bring light and happiness into our lives, and you took that from us,” Ravi Patel wrote.

Prosecutors played a surveillance video that showed Perry lifting his arm and firing a gunshot within seconds of entering the store. Perry then held Sunny’s uncle at gunpoint and fled with cash, some of which he dropped at the door on his way out.

Perry also pleaded guilty to robbing a Subway shop in University Heights the following night. He was arrested on Oct. 16 after detectives spotted him entering a Dollar General store wearing the clothes he wore during the two robberies.

He left the dollar store emptyhanded when none of the employees went to the checkout counter, police said.

Prosecutors said Perry pointed a gun at two officers after leaving the store and the officers shot at him during a chase. Perry was not struck. He was arrested later inside a garage.

Perry was free on a $2,500 bond at the time of his arrest on a burglary charge filed earlier this year. He was supposed to be sentenced Thursday.

Juvenile court records show he has a lengthy record dating to 2007, when he was found delinquent as an 11-year-old on theft charges. He was sentenced in 2012 as a 16-year-old to a Department of Youth Services prison until his 21st birthday for aggravated robbery and gun charges. He was released last year at age 19.