| NEW DELHI
NEW DELHI Feb 24 Working, partying and
travelling across the United States, Indian aviation engineer
Srinivas Kuchibhotla was living his American dream in Kansas
That dream was shattered on Wednesday.
A local man shot dead Kuchibhotla, 32, and wounded his
colleague Alok Madasani in a case U.S. federal authorities are
investigating as a possible hate crime.
Local media quoted eyewitnesses saying the attacker shouted
"get out of my country" before opening fire as the colleagues
shared an after-work drink in a local bar.
The shooting has sparked outrage in India, with criticism
mounting that U.S. President Donald Trump's "America First"
rhetoric is fuelling intolerance towards immigrants.
The Indian government expressed its shock and condemned the
incident, but Kuchibhotla's relatives called for more action.
"The government should voice this out strongly, because our
brothers, sisters and our relatives are there," Kuchibhotla's
brother, Venu Madhav, told Reuters Television, standing outside
his home in the southern city of Hyderabad.
"If you really look into this incident, this is not done by
a teenager or a burglar," Madhav said, referring to the
Through a window, relatives could be seen sitting quietly,
one woman wiping away tears.
Kuchibhotla was one of many ambitious young Indians who go
abroad each year in search of a better education and career
More than 3 million Indians live in the United States. As a
community, they are twice as well off as other Americans, with
an average household income of more than $100,000.
The Southern Poverty Law Center said the number of hate
groups in the United States rose for a second year in a row in
2016, linking the increase to Trump's presidential candidacy,
and this week's incident has further heightened concerns among
Indians about their treatment there.
"Thank God my son survived the firing," Madasani's father,
Jaganmohan Reddy, told The Hindu newspaper.
"After the nightmarish incident, do we really need to go and
work in (the) U.S.?"
THE AMERICAN DREAM
After obtaining a bachelor's degree in technology in India,
Kuchibhotla left his home town of Hyderabad for El Paso, Texas,
to pursue a master's degree in electrical engineering, according
to his LinkedIn profile.
He then worked as a software and systems engineer at
Rockwell Collins, Iowa.
Married about four years ago, Kuchibhotla, who called
himself "Srinu" on his Facebook page, and his wife spent their
early years of marriage watching Bollywood movies, celebrating
New Year's eve by clicking selfies and travelling across the
"Four states, 1,500 miles, three days and finally at Dallas
to end year 2013," his wife wrote on her Facebook page at the
Later, Kuchibhotla switched jobs to join Garmin
International as an engineer, working on designs and flight test
On Thursday, he and his colleague Madasani were at Austins
Bar and Grill in Kansas when the shooting took place.
Kuchibhotla's former colleague, Kavipriya Muthuramalingam,
fondly remembered him as a dear friend who would never be
"It's tragic," she told Reuters. "He was at the wrong place
at the wrong time."
(Additional reporting by Tommy Wilkes; Editing by Douglas
Busvine and Mike Collett-White)