The widow of Srinivas Kuchibhotla, who was killed in the Austins Bar & Grill shooting, has taken to Facebook to share her feelings following the tragedy.
Sunayana Dumala thanked many in the community for their continuing support, including Ian Grillot, considered by many to be a hero for intervening after shots rang out at the Olathe bar last week.
“Thanks for having the courage and trying in whatever way possible to save my husband,” Dumala wrote. “When I am back in Olathe, I would like to meet you personally. You and your act of kindness will help me survive and still have the faith in love.”
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The post, which approached 3,000 words, also mentioned law enforcement officials working on the case; the medical team who worked on “Srinu,” as she refers throughout to her husband; the media; the funeral home; and the people in the community who have “come forward and have been praying for Srinivas’s soul and his family’s well-being.”
She also recounted the moments in which she learned of her husband’s death.
“When police came to our house ... I could not believe their words. It was so surreal,” she wrote. “I asked them repeatedly, ‘Are you sure?’ ‘Are you telling the truth?’ ... ‘Can you show me a picture to identify?’ ‘Is the man you are talking about 6’2”?’ ”
The officers, she wrote, nodded their heads, and answered, “Yes.”
When she comes back to Olathe, she will return to the “dream home” she built with Kuchibhotla. She called the home the first step they made together in fulfilling their dream to start a family.
“I am writing this as it sinks in to me that this dream of ours is now shattered,” Dumala wrote. “I really wish we had a child of our own in whom I could at least see Srinivas and make him like Srinu.”
As she said during an address to the public, she questioned immigrants’ safety in America. “Do we belong?” she wrote. “Is this the same country we dreamed of and is it still secure to raise our families and children here?”
In her message, Dumala interspersed personal asides directed to Kuchibhotla, as if she were communicating directly with him.
“Srinu, my love, I don’t know how I’ll be able to fill the void I now have created in my life,” she wrote, “but I promise you I’ll never let you down. ... I love you and you are always going to be mine.”