Srinivas Kuchibhotla and his wife, Sunayana Dumala, were living the American dream. They moved to Kansas about four-and-a-half years ago, soon after they got married in October 2012, and had bought a house in Overland Park. They were planning to have a baby this year, Kuchibhotla told his father recently after sending some selfies taken at a mall.
Kuchibhotla’s younger brother, Sai Kishore K, had also settled down in Kansas. Kuchibhotla’s friends from Hyderabad, including his best friend and colleague at Garmin International, Alok Reddy Madasani, were also nearby, making it a home away from home. Until that phone call from the police, informing Dumala that her husband had been shot.
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“My brother and his wife’s American dream has been cut short,’’ said Satish K, Kuchibhotla’s cousin, at the latter’s home in Spring Woods at Bachupally, on the outskirts of Hyderabad.
Kuchibhotla’s father, Madhusudhan Rao K, a retired senior chemist from Indian Drugs and Pharmaceuticals Ltd, and his mother, Vardhini, were looking forward to visiting their two sons in the US soon. Late on Wednesday night, some other family members left for the US to bring his body back.
“His mother has been unwell since last evening, after hearing the news. His father keeps saying he can’t believe this has happened,’’ said Satish. “His wife and brother are in shock. The Telugu Association of North America (TANA) is helping to make arrangements to bring the body here as soon as possible,” he said.
Kuchibhotla went to the US in July 2005 for a Master’s degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from the University of Texas at El Paso, after doing his BTech from the Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University affiliated Vidya Jyothi Institute of Technology, Hyderabad. After completing his Master’s in December 2007, he worked as a teaching assistant and research assistant at the University of Texas.
In January 2008, he was picked up by Rockwell Collins and went on to become a senior systems engineer there. In January 2014, he joined Garmin International, where he was an aviation programs engineer.
At both Rockwell Collins and Garmin International, Kuchibhotla and his wife became a part of a large group of friends, including many Telugu couples. One of them, Alok Reddy Madasani, was with Kuchibhotla when they were attacked, and also suffered injuries. Madasani, whose family hails from Warangal but now lives in Dilsukhnagar, has since been discharged from hospital.
A relative of Madasani said the shooter, Adam Purinton, made racist remarks. “Alok said that they first ignored him, but when he started pointing at them and abused them, he drew the attention of the pub manager, who threw him (Printon) out. He left, but returned within a few minutes with a revolver… Srinivas received several bullet injuries and died on the way to hospital. Alok has been released from hospital and is resting at his home,’’ said the relative.