© 2024 Kansas City Public Radio
NPR in Kansas City
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Kansas City Communities Express Gratitude To Police As They Mourn UMKC Student

UMKC student Sharath Koppu was murdered July 6 in Kansas City.

Kansas City police confirmed that Sunday’s exchanges of gunfire involved a man suspected of killing University of Missouri-Kansas City student Sharath Koppu on July 6 in Kansas City. The suspect was killed and three police officers were injured.

Within hours, the India Association of Kansas City released this statement:

“We are happy to hear that the suspect was caught and justice has been served to Sharath. On the same lines, we are equally disheartened hearing about the three officers who were shot in pursuit. Our thoughts and prayers are with them for a speedy recovery. We would like to extend our thanks and gratitude to the KCMO PD for continuing to pursue the suspect until apprehended and making sure that the streets of KC will remain safe. “

Spokesman Jagdeesh Subramanian says the community mourns the death of UMKC engineering student Koppu and grieves for his family in India.

But, he says, the local community does not liken Koppu’s death to the killing of Srinivas Kuchibhotla in February, 2017 at an Olathe bar and grill.  Adam Purinton has been convicted of murder and has admitted the shooting of Kuchobhotla and his friend Alok Madasani was a hate crime.  Kuchibhotla’s widow has said the outpouring of love and support in the past year has convinced her she and her community are welcome in Kansas City.

The press in India last week pointed out that the two shootings occurred not far from one another. But Subramanian says many in the local community do not trust the press in India because they tend to sensationalize and misstate facts.

Indian students from UMKC and the Consul General of India, who came to Kansas City from Chicago to  make arrangements for the return of Koppu’s body, gathered last week to remember their friend.

Also on Sunday afternoon, UMKC chancellor C. Mauli Agrawal released this statement:

“On behalf of the entire UMKC family, I want to express our gratitude to all of the brave first responders involved in today’s events, especially the three injured officers, along with our hopes for their speedy and full recovery. These public servants risked their lives to pursue justice for our murdered student, Sharath Koppu.”

Laura Ziegler is a community engagement reporter and producer. Reach her via Twitter, @laurazig or email lauraz@kcur.org.

I partner with communities to uncover the ignored or misrepresented stories by listening and letting communities help identify and shape a narrative. My work brings new voices, sounds, and an authentic sense of place to our coverage of the Kansas City region. My goal is to tell stories on the radio, online, on social media and through face to face conversations that enhance civic dialogue and provide solutions.
KCUR serves the Kansas City region with breaking news and award-winning podcasts.
Your donation helps keep nonprofit journalism free and available for everyone.