Fundraiser campaigns for Kansas shooting victims received generous responses, exceeding their original targets in less than a day. The overwhelming outpouring of financial support exceeding $ 650,000, prompted two campaigners to up the targets.
Fundraising platform gofundme hosted campaigns for 32-year-old Srinivas Kuchibhotla, who was killed in Wednesday’s shooting, his colleague Alok Reddy Madasani and Ian Grillot. Grillot was critically wounded while Madasani’s injuries were immediately treatable, The Huffington Post reported. Olathe man Adam Wade Purinton, suspected to have committed the alleged hate crime, was later arrested in Missouri.
The campaigns went viral as news of the Kansas shooting hit the wires, accompanied by questions regarding safety of immigrants in view of Trump administration’s proposed foreign policy changes. At the time of writing, the fundraisers received contributions from more than 18,000 contributors in less than a day.
The most successful of the fundraisers was organized by Kavipriya Muthuramalingam, Kuchibhotla’s friend. With a target of $ 150,000, over 11,000 people donated more than $ 400,000. Muthuramalingam said the money will be handed over to his family. The fundraiser continued to get donations long after it had reached its target.
“We’ve set up this fund to help them with the funeral expenses and other ongoing grief / recovery support costs. This includes the very expensive process of carrying his mortal remains back to India, so his parents can say goodbye one last time to their beloved son.”
Indian External Minister Sushma Swaraj said her government will aid in repatriating Kuchibhotla’s mortal remains from Kansas to his home in the Indian state of Telangana.
We will make all arrangements to transport the mortal remains of Srinivas Kuchibhotla to Hyderbad.— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) February 24, 2017
On Wednesday evening, Kuchibhotla and Madasani were at Austins Bar and Grill in Olathe, Kansas, when Purinton accosted them with racial slurs. Purinton, who according to eyewitnesses appeared distraught and drunk, was asked to leave by the bartender only to return later. According to The Washington Post, Purinton told the duo, “get out of my country” before shooting at them.
As news of the shooting spread, the fundraiser for 24-year-old Kansas resident Ian Grillot began amassing responses. He was termed a hero who stood up for two immigrants facing hate. Grillot was a patron of the Kansas bar that was crowded on Wednesday owing to University of Kansas-TCU basketball game. According to his sister Maggie, who organized the fundraiser, Grillot went after the shooter.
“Ian stood up for two people being mistreated by a man who was in the wrong. Ian thought all rounds were done and tried to go after the man. This resulted in Ian being shot. He’s going to have a lengthy recovery road and is already worried about how he will afford it which is the last thing he needs.”
Grillot’s fundraiser target was upped to $ 300,000 after it exceeded its original target of $ 150,000. At the time of writing, the fundraiser received over $ 200,000.
A third fundraiser campaign for the Kansas shooting victims was raised by a person unconnected to them, The Kansas City Star reported. Brian Eric Ford of downtown Kansas organized the fundraiser claiming the proceeds will be split between families of Kuchibhotla and Madasani. While contributions poured in even before the original target of $50,000 was exceeded, many questioned Ford about his connection with the victims. He announced the victims’ families are the beneficiaries.
“I am not related to either victim, but have a close friend who works at Garmin, where Srinivas and Alok both worked. I was motivated to start this page the morning after the shooting because I couldn’t find a way to donate to the two men who were targeted.”
Ford’s fundraiser received over $ 60,000 against a revised target of $ 75,000.
[Featured Image by Mahesh Kumar A /AP Images]