“Only good things happen to good people,” Srinivas Kuchibhotla, 32, told his wife, not long before he was shot and killed in what the FBI is investigating as a hate crime. His wife, Sunayana Dumala, had been concerned about the rash of shootings and recent racially-motivated crimes in America, but the engineer, originally from Hyderabad, assured her that he was in no danger.
But according to The Economic Times, he was proven wrong on Wednesday evening when he and colleague Alok Madsani, also 32, were shot in a Kansas bar by a man who allegedly yelled, “Get out of my country” and called the men “terrorists” before opening fire. The gunman, Adam Purinton, 51, a US Navy veteran, later allegedly admitted to a restaurant worker that he had killed two Middle Eastern men while briefly on the run.
Mr. Madsani survived, as did Ian Grillot, 24, also a patron at Austin’s Bar and Grill in Olathe when the shooting occurred. Mr. Grillot attempted to tackle the gunman and was shot in the chest, through his hand, for his troubles. Mr. Madsani has since been discharged from the hospital after being critically wounded; Mr. Grillot is still recovering. Mr. Kuchibhotla, however, died of injuries sustained after being taken to the hospital.
Heartbroken for family of Srinivas Kuchibhotla. Hatred & violence must end.
— Rep. Joe Kennedy III (@RepJoeKennedy) February 25, 2017
— Deplorable Sara (@MAGA_California) February 27, 2017
Collectively, crowdfunding campaigns for the three men have now raised over a million dollars – and Srinivas Kuchibhotla is going home.
According to IndiaNow, Mr. Kuchibhotla’s body is expected to arrive in Hyderabad on Monday evening, in cooperation with the local government.
“External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, the local BJP team and the Telangana government have been very supportive amid this tragedy. We want the body to be here at the earliest,” said Srinivas’ brother. K. Tarak Rama Rao, minister of NRI affairs of Telangana, also personally visited the family on Saturday to offer his condolences. Mr. Kuchibhotla’s brother, along with Srinivas’ wife, will be accompanying the body home.
He also said that he places the blame entirely on Donald Trump.
“A racist person said ‘get out of my country’ and targeted my brother and his friend. This was for the first time that someone hurled racial abuse at my brother. Trump is only the primary reason as of now.”
Say his name. #SrinivasKuchibhotla
— Anil Dash (@anildash) February 24, 2017
— Steve Morris (@talentscout007) February 27, 2017
The fundraising campaign for Mr. Kuchibhotla and his family has now raised over $600,000, along with a separate campaign started for both he and Madsani which has raised almost $100,000. A fund for Mr. Madsani’s medical expenses has raised nearly $30,000. And a campaign for Mr. Grillot has raised almost $400,000.
“The amount of love and compassion and support my family has received has been more than incredible and more than we could have ever hoped for,” said Grillot’s older sister.
“From the bottom of my heart and my family’s, we appreciate all of the love, support, donations, and kind words.”
“Ian is not a hero. Ian was simply doing what he knew he had to do. What we were raised to do. Stand up for those who need it. Do the right thing no matter how difficult it is.”
Grillot went after the gunman after mistakenly believing that he had emptied his gun.
“[I] thought I heard nine shots. Expected his magazine to be empty. So I got up and proceeded to chase him down… And I guess I miscounted with everything going on.”
Speaking at a press conference, Sunayana Dumala said that she and her husband had often discussed moving back to India, but that he had always been confident that they would be safe. “I have a question in my mind,” she said. “Do we belong?”
“I need an answer, I need an answer from the government. I need an answer for everyone out there. Not just for my husband… but for everyone, all those people of any race.”
— Siddharth (@Actor_Siddharth) February 24, 2017
Purinton, meanwhile, is being held on a $2 million bail and is expected back in court on Monday. Police would not comment on whether he had previously faced charges.
[Featured Image by Kranti Shalia/AP Images]