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Kansas shooting: Vigil held for Indian engineer, other victims in US

LiveMint logoLiveMint 25-02-2017 Seema Hakhu Kachru

Houston: Family and friends of the Indian engineer who was shot dead at a Kansas city pub in an apparent hate crime held a vigil in his memory as they slowly came to terms with the spine-chilling incident.

“Love each other” was the overarching theme as mourners filled the First Baptist Church of Olathe, Kansas. Visitors were greeted with solemn and spirit-filled musical numbers and prayers were offered by the families of 32-year-old Indian engineer Srinivas Kuchibhotla, another Indian man and an American who were injured after a navy veteran man yelling “get out of my country” and “terrorist” opened fire on them in an apparent racially-motivated hate crime.

Kuchibhotla, working at GPS-maker Garmin headquarters in Olathe, died of bullet injuries in a hospital. Kuchibhotla’s Indian colleague Alok Madasani was injured when the 51-year-old shooter opened fire on them. A third person, an American who tried to intervene, was also injured. Kuchibhotla and Madasani hailed from Hyderabad and Warangal respectively.

There has been an outpouring of support for the victims of the Austin’s Bar & Grill shooting and fundraising too. Volunteers handed out candles as visitors stoically made their way into the church’s sanctuary. A group of employees gathered in front of bar after the vigil to offer moment of silence. None were ready to speak about the incident.

Adam Purinton, 51, of Olathe was charged Thursday with first-degree murder in the death of Kuchibhotla. He was also charged with two counts of attempted first-degree murder in the shootings of Madasani and Grillot.

Three separate ‘gofundme’ campaigns were set up for the victims of the shooting. The first fund for Kuchibhotla, has raised approximately $402,000 from 11,000 donors in just one day. A joint fund for Kuchibhotla and his colleague, Alok Madasani, who was wounded in the attack has raised $60,000.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations called on the US government to “consider filing hate crime charges in order to send a strong message that violence targeting religious or ethnic minorities will not be tolerated,” the Times reported. Purinton is scheduled to appear in court Monday and the bar is slated to reopen on Saturday. PTI

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