On Friday evening in the US city of Kansas, in the state of Missouri, a 26-year-old Indian student from Telangana was shot dead inside a restaurant. Now, the police have released CCTV footage of a man in a brown and white shirt, believed to be the suspect in the killing.
Sharath Koppula, who hailed from Warangal in Telangana, was an MS student at the University of Missouri, Kansas City. After completing his engineering at the Vasavi College of Engineering in Hyderabad, he was employed at a software firm in the city. He had moved to the US this year.
He was critically injured when the man fired at him at J's Fish and Chicken Market located at 5412 Prospect Ave in the city. Sharath was rushed to a hospital, where he succumbed.
An eyewitness, who worked at the restaurant, told the local Kansas City media that the suspect pulled out a gun and demanded money from the restaurant owner.
People present in the restaurant ducked for cover and Sharath tried to run towards the back of the store, which was when the suspect shot him in the back. Sharath was taken to a hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.
The Kansas police have announced a reward of $10,000 for any information of the suspect.
“Anyone who recognizes this suspect is encouraged to contact the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS (8477) or through the P3 app or at www.kccrimestoppers.com,” the Kansas police stated in a press release.
Looking for this suspect in the robbery & murder of 25-y.o. Sharath Kopuu at 5412 Prospect last night. Sharath was from India and is a student at UMKC. $10,000 reward for info leading to charges in this (& every KCMO murder) https://t.co/qUxkcItwXf
— Kansas City Police (@kcpolice) July 7, 2018
Meanwhile, a GoFundMe account was started by Sharath’s family seeking funds for his body to be brought back home. An amount of $43,471 against the $40,000 goal was raised in a span of nine hours.
In February last year, 27-year-old Indian software engineer Vamshi Reddy Mamidala, who hailed from Vangapahad village in Warangal district, was also shot dead during a robbery attempt in the US.
Sharath’s death comes a year after another Indian techie from Hyderabad, Srinivas Kuchibhotla (32), was killed at a bar in Kansas City in a racially motivated hate crime.