No headway in Sharath Koppu’s murder investigation

Two days after a Telugu student, Sharath Koppu (25), was shot dead by a suspected robber at a restaurant in Kansas City, of Missouri, in the US, the local police are yet to make any headway in the investigation.

The Kansas City police on Saturday (local time) announced a reward of $10,000 for information leading to the alleged suspect, a black man wearing a brown shirt with white stripes, who gunned down Sharath on Friday evening.

“Looking for this suspect in the robbery and murder of Sharath Koppu at 5412 Prospect last night. Sharath was from India and is a student at UMKC. $10,000 reward for info leading to charges in this murder,” the Kansas City Police tweeted, attaching a brief video clip of the suspect who was seen walking in and out of J’s Fish and Chicken Market before the shooting.

Sharath hails from Warangal and was pursuing his Masters in the University of Missouri, Kansas City (UMKC) in the US. He graduated from an engineering college here and was working for a multinational company here, before moving to the US to pursue higher studies in January this year.

A report in the Kansas local media quoted a worker at the restaurant saying that the suspect demanded money and pulled out a gun.

“He’s scared he’s going to die,” the man said of Koppu. As people ducked or ran for cover around him, Koppu bolted directly away from the suspect, ran towards the back of the store. (Koppu) ran, so he shot him in the back”, the man said to a local media.

After getting information about the shooting, the Kansas City fire personnel arrived and transported Sharath to a hospital, where he died.

C. Mauli Agrawal, Chancellor, UMKC, offered his condolences in a tweet on Saturday. “Sharath and I share an Indian heritage, but all of us at UMKC share in the grief such tragedies bring,” he wrote.

Sharath’s cousin Raghavender Chowdavaram, who is raising money through crowd-funding to bring the latter’s mortal remains back to India for last rites, had reached the required goal of $40,000 as the funding crossed $50,000 in 21 hours. “Little did anybody know that life is about to take a big unfortunate turn on a fateful day of July 6,” wrote Mr. Chowdavaram in aGoFundMe account. “He had the same dreams as everyone else to make it big in the land of opportunity. He had a great sense of humour, and always made people laugh and was always eager to lend a helping hand,” he added.

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