Hyderabad: K Ram Mohan, the father of the victim of a Kansas shooting 10 days ago, has expressed his unhappiness over the death of the killer in an encounter with Missouri state police. Ram Mohan, a BSNL employee in Hyderabad, said that he wanted the killer to be caught alive so he could reveal the motive behind killing his son.
According to reports from the US, the man who had allegedly shot dead 25-year-old Sharath Koppu was killed in an encounter in Kansas City on Sunday. Three undercover police officers were also injured, while an accomplice of the suspect was arrested.
Kansas police launched a large-scale manhunt for the suspect after the shooting on July 6 of software engineer Sharath Koppu at J’s Fish and Chicken Market. The police offered $10,000 (Dh36,725) for any information that could lead to the arrest of the suspect.
After reports in the US confirmed that the alleged killer was shot dead in a shoot-out with the police, Sharath’s family in Hyderabad had mixed feelings of “relief” and “unhappiness”.
Mohan said “the mystery of the killing of my son still remains as there is no clarity on what exactly happened on July 6th. I want Kansas police to release the full footage of the incident”.
The authorities in Missouri have released only part of the footage from the surveillance cameras at the scene of the crime.
“I am not pleased as the dead killer will not be able to answer questions such as why he had killed my son. It would have been better if police had caught him alive and I would’ve been satisfied if he had confessed to his crime and motive,” the victim’s father told reporters at his home in Ameenrpet, a middle-class locality of Hyderabad.
Sharath’s paternal uncle expressed a slightly different view: “We are happy that his killer is dead though it would have been better if he was caught and faced severe jail time”. Shivudu, another uncle, said, “it matters little if the killer is dead or not. Sharath is dead and nothing can change that”.
The news of the death of the alleged killer came three days after Sharath’s body was flown to Hyderabad and cremated in his home town of Warangal. Hundreds of mourners, including Telengana state deputy Chief Minister Kadim Srihari and senior officials of the local administrations, were present for the cremation.
Sharath had studied in Vasavi College of Engineering in Hyderabad before moving to the US to pursue his Masters in software engineering.
The news of his death came a mere 12 hours after his last call to his parents. Ram Mohan said his son “had informed us that he was quitting the part-time job and we were unhappy with it. He had told us that this would be his last day [at the job].”
“My son is dead, the killer is dead but I want answers to several questions. Why the killer targeted my son. Was my son at fault or the killer shot him by chance or was he intentionally killed. Without answers to these questions the case will not reach a closure for us. Investigations will be important because it will help in prevention of similar incidents in future. Many other Indian students are also vulnerable and they can be saved with this information”, said Mohan.
Sharath, who had worked in two different software companies in Hyderabad before leaving for the US in January this year, was described by his family as a cheerful and happy young man. A page opened on gofundme.com by his cousin Raghu Chowdavaram to raise funds for getting his body back home says, “Sharath Koppu is an Indian Computer Engineer who came to the US in the month of January 2018. Sharath is known to his family and friends as someone full of dreams, cheerful, energetic and athletic. In the pursuit of his dreams, he had moved to the USA to do his Masters. He had the same dreams as everyone else to make it BIG in the land of opportunity. He had had great sense of humour and always made people laugh and was always eager to lend a helping hand.”