One of three men shot at a bar in suburban Kansas City spoke at a weekend vigil, saying “I wish it was a dream.”
The Kansas City Star reported Alok Madasani, 32, told a crowd of hundreds at the Ball Conference Center in Olathe, Kansas, on Sunday that “what happened that night was a senseless crime and that took away my best friend.”
Madasani’s friend and co-worker, Srinivas Kuchibhotla, 32, was killed in Wednesday night’s shooting at Austins Bar and Grill in Olathe. Another patron, Ian Grillot, 24, also was wounded in the shooting.
“The main reason why I am here is that’s what my best friend, Srinivas, would have done,” Madasani said. “He would have been here for me.”
Madasani and Kuchibhotla both worked for GPS device-maker Garmin. At the vigil, Madasani recalled how Kuchibhotla never complained about picking him up and driving him to work over a six-month period.
“He waited till I bought a car. That’s the kind of guy he was – is,” Madasani said.
Adam Purinton, 51, of Olathe, is scheduled to appear in court Monday. He faces first-degree murder and first-degree attempted murder charges. According to witnesses to the attack, Purinton yelled “get out of my country” at the two Indian men before he opened fire.
Madasani called the shooting “an isolated incident that doesn’t reflect the true spirit of Kansas, the Midwest and the United States.” That drew applause from the audience at the vigil.
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Olathe Mayor Mike Copeland, state Senator Rob Olson, Kansas Lieutenant Governor Jeff Colyer and other elected officials also spoke at the event.
“When you grieve, we all grieve,” Copeland said. “We will not let one act of evil separate us or divide us.”