OLATHE, Kan. – An Indian man who was shot and wounded at a bar in suburban Kansas City last week says he wished the killing of his best friend during the attack had all been a dream, but that the incident, apparently fueled by racism, "doesn't reflect the true spirit of Kansas."
Alok Madasani, 32, addressed a crowd of hundreds during a vigil Sunday night at the Ball Conference Center in Olathe, Kansas. He described the fatal shooting of his friend and co-worker, Srinivas Kuchibhotla, Wednesday as "a senseless crime," the Kansas City Star reported (http://bit.ly/2mkJVIS ).
"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."
Another patron, Ian Grillot, 24, also was wounded when he tried to intervene in the shooting at Austins Bar and Grill in Olathe.
"I wish it was a dream," Madasani said.
Adam Purinton, 51, of Olathe, is scheduled to appear in court Monday. He has been charged with first-degree murder and first-degree attempted murder. According to witnesses, Purinton yelled "get out of my country" at the two Indian men before he opened fire.
Still walking on crutches, Madasani drew applause when he called the shooting "an isolated incident that doesn't reflect the true spirit of Kansas, the Midwest and the United States."
Madasani and Kuchibhotla, 32, both worked for GPS device-maker Garmin in Olathe. At the vigil, Madasani recalled how Kuchibhotla never complained about picking him up and driving him to work for six months.
"He waited till I bought a car. That's the kind of guy he was — is," Madasani said.