Family members of Srinivas Kuchibhotla and his wife Sunayana Dumala left for Texas late on Thursday night from Hyderabad, after getting news that he was shot dead in a racist attack in a pub in Olathe, Kansas, late Wednesday night. Kuchibhotla and his friend Alok Reddy Madasani, 32, were attacked by 51-year-old Navy veternan Adam Purinton, after they were incorrectly believed from the Middle East. Madasani’s condition is stable and he has been released from hospital.
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Affectionately called Srinu by his family and friends, Kuchibhotla, 32, and Madasani were colleagues a Garmin International which manufactures avionics and GPS devices. The shooter, who was drinking at the pub and making racist remarks, targeted the two after an argument.
A relative of Alok Reddy said that Kuchibhotla and Madasani had dropped into a Austins Bar and Grill on their way home after work Thursday evening. “Alok said that they first ignored him but when he started pointing at them and abused them Alok drew the attention of the pub manager who threw out Adam. He left but returned within a few minutes with a revolver. One person named Ian who was sitting nearby noticed the gun in Adam’s hand and tried to warn Srinu and Alok but Adam shot at him and then fired several rounds at Srinu and Alok. Srinu received several bullet injuries and died on way to the hospital. Alok has been released from hospital and is resting at his home,” the relative said.
American Ian Grillot, 24, was shot at when he tried to take the gun away from the shooter. His condition is stable as well.
Kuchibhotla went to the U.S. in July 2005 to do a Master’s degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from the University of Texas at El Paso. Before realising his dream of studying and working in the U.S., he did his B.Tech from Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, Hyderabad, and passed out in May 2005. After completing his Master’s, from August 2005 to 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 as a software engineer and went on to become a senior systems engineer there. In October 2012, he got married to Suyanana Dumala at Hyderabad. They live in Overland Park in Kansas.
In January 2014, Kuchibhotla joined Garmin International where he was an Aviation Programs Engineer. Alok Reddy Madasani, 32, his friend who was also injured in the shooting in the pub, is his colleague in the Aviation Systems Engineering team at Garmin. Alok is the aviation programme coordinator.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj condemned the attack and offered assistance to the family. She has made arrangements to transport the mortal remains of the victim to Hyderabad. She tweet, “I have spoken to the father and Mr.K.K.Shastri brother of Srinivas Kuchibhotla in Hyderabad and conveyed my condolences to the family.”
The GoFundMe page was also created to raise funds to send Kuchibhotla’s remains back to India “so his parents can say goodbye to their beloved son”. The page has crossed its $150,000 goal in just eight hours; it has raised $250.662 at the time of writing this copy.