Sunayana Dumala, the widow of a Indian man killed in a triple shooting in Kansas that the FBI is investigating as a hate crime, penned an emotional tribute to her late husband and asked: “Do we belong here?”
Dumala described Srinivas Kuchibhotla, who died in the hospital after the triple shooting last Wednesday, as “a source of inspiration” and “a support system not just to me but to any and all he got to know.”
“I lost my husband — my soul mate — my friend and my confidante,” she wrote in a Facebook post Tuesday. “It is still unbelievable that he is not here.”
She described their relationship and plans to have children, and wrote that Kuchibhotla “was always worried about immigration and its laws.”
“There were days when he used to talk about how it’s been quite a few years since we applied for our permanent residency card, and he didn’t know how much longer we have to wait for it,” Dumala wrote. “Whenever there was an incident involving someone dying, both of us got worried.”
Among others, Dumala thanked law enforcement officials, employees of Garmin (where Kuchibhotla worked), and her own employer, as well as Ian Grillot. Grillot, another victim of the shooting, was shot in the hand and chest while intervening.
“What is the government going to do to stop hate crime? Lastly, to answer the question that is in every immigrant’s mind, DO WE BELONG HERE?” Dumala wrote. “Is this the same country we dreamed of and is it still secure to raise our families and children here?”
The FBI on Tuesday opened a hate crime investigation into the shooting, which witnesses described as racially motivated.
Adam Purinton, a 51-year-old resident of Olathe, was arrested Thursday and charged with one count of first-degree murder and two counts of first-degree attempted murder. He made his first court appearance on Monday.
Purinton allegedly shouted “get out of my country” before opening fire.
“He said that he shot and killed two Iranian people,” a bartender at a different location later told a 911 dispatcher.
Kuchibhotla and Alok Madasani, another victim, were immigrants from India.
During a news conference on Friday, Dumala said that she needs “an answer from the government” about how it plans to stop such violence.
“Recent threats targeting Jewish Community Centers and vandalism of Jewish cemeteries, as well as last week’s shooting in Kansas City, remind us that while we may be a nation divided on policies, we are a country that stands united in condemning hate and evil in all its forms,” he said.