KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The father of an engineering student from India who was fatally shot in Kansas City said Tuesday that he wishes a person of interest in the killing had been arrested rather than shot to death by police, because he wants to know why the man killed his son.
Kansas City Police Chief Rick Smith said the man, 25-year-old Marlin Mack, had never drawn law enforcement's attention in the Missouri city until he became a person of interest in the July 6 killing of 25-year-old Sharath Koppu during a robbery at a restaurant.
Police fatally shot Mack on Sunday after he opened fire on officers with a high-powered semi-automatic rifle outside a motel and later at a home, Kansas City Police Chief Rick Smith said Monday. Three officers were wounded in the gunfight.
Investigators believe Koppu was the random victim of a robbery, police spokesman Sgt. Jake Becchina.
Koppu's father, Koppu Ram Mohan, told reporters in Hyderabad, India, that his son had already quit his part-time job at the restaurant and was working his last shift when he was killed. Mohan lamented that he will never know why Koppu died.
"The mystery of the killing of my son remains as there is no clarity on what exactly had happened on July 6," Mohan told reporters at his home in Hyderabad. "I am not pleased as his dead killer will not be able to answer many questions, like why he had killed my son. It would have been better if police had caught him alive."
Koppu's body was flown to Hyderabad last week where he was cremated in the presence of hundreds of mourners, including top local government officials.
Video showing a man with a towel apparently concealing a gun at the restaurant on the day of the shooting prompted up to 40 tips, Smith said. Mohan asked that police release all the footage from the shooting.
Smith said one of the officers injured in the exchange of gunfire with Mack on Sunday was expected to be released from the hospital Monday, but would need ongoing medical attention. The other two remain hospitalized but are in stable condition, Smith said.
Farooq contributed from Hyderabad, India.