Statement from Sunayana Dumala, widow of shooting victim Srinivas Kuchibhotla

Sunayana Dumala reads statement in response to sentencing of man who killed her husband

Sunayana Dumala, widow of Srinivas Kuchibhotla, reads a statement in response to the sentencing of her husband's killer, Adam Purinton. Purinton received a sentence of life in prison for the killing.
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Sunayana Dumala, widow of Srinivas Kuchibhotla, reads a statement in response to the sentencing of her husband's killer, Adam Purinton. Purinton received a sentence of life in prison for the killing.

At Friday's sentencing of Adam Purinton, this statement by Sunayana Dumala, widow of shooting victim Srinivas Kuchibhotla, was read:

My name is Sunayana Dumala and I’m the wife of Srinivas Kuchibhotla. We both are from India and came to USA to pursue our Master degrees. I met my husband, during my application process to universities in the United States. He had been my support system from my initial days in USA and getting me settled in a foreign country and culture.

We dated for 6 years and married in October, 2012, and dreamed of a happy life. We moved to Olathe, Kansas, in January 2014 with hopes of bright future after he got a job offer with Garmin as Aviation Systems Engineer/Program Manager. Soon after moving to Kansas we got our dream house. We had plans to grow our family and raising kids and were leading normal happy life. However, our dreams turned short because of one person.

February 22nd, 2017 a date that will remain as one of the worst days in my life was supposed to be a normal day. We left for work that morning and planned to be home for dinner. I was waiting for Srinu at home and started getting worried when I was not able to reach him over the phone. After seeing a Facebook post shared by one of my friends, my worry multiplied and I frantically started making calls to friends with hope to know his whereabouts.

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My hopes ended when the police knocked on my front door. They asked me to sit and I just sat on the stairs nearby eagerly waiting to hear about him. They asked me my name, Srinu’s name and his DOB. Then they said something which shook me to core and left me breathless. I could not believe what I heard and I prayed that they take their words back, that my husband was alive and not dead. Suddenly it felt like there was no purpose for my life. He was love of my life, a true friend and my biggest support system. We were supposed to be together for lifetime but now the thought of having to live life alone and the hardships that come with it, is unbearable.

On the afternoon of February 23rd, I learned from the cops that the murder of my husband was premeditative and racially motivated. In the few minutes that you have seen Srinu you built so much hatred for him that you decided he did not deserve to live. What harm did he do to you that you grew so much animosity towards him? He was only enjoying a glass of beer with his friend. I wish you had the ability to see beyond my husband’s skin color and the beautiful and kind-hearted person underneath it. And how do you expect me to measure the impact of your ignorance on our lives and dreams.

How do you want me to gauge the loss of his mother who carried her child for 9 months before giving birth to him? Or that father to whom his son was apple of his eye? Or the brothers who lost their best friend? Both mine and Srinu’s dreams that got shattered, how will you measure them? Our dreams of having kids and raising them as responsible adults, will you be able to bring that back for us? The pain of my parents who had to witness their daughter’s life being shattered, will you be able to reduce any of that?

My husband had a passion and dream to achieve something big in the aviation industry. He was working hard on large contracts for Garmin, those which have been awarded to the company. His hard work will now give jobs to more individuals and earn them their livelihood. Imagine how much more he could have achieved and contributed to the community if not for your anger and hatred.

My Srinu had never hurt anyone and only had love and respect for others, but he had to lose his life because of your hate. It is because of only those values that he had instilled in me that I am able to write this. I hope in the years that you must spend in the jail you will one day realize the magnitude of your mistake and work towards your penance.

Sunayana Dumala — the widow of Srinivas Kuchibhotla, who was killed in the Austins Bar & Grill shooting in Olathe, Kansas — aims to spread positivity and love in his name.

Sunayana Dumala's statement to the media after the sentencing

Today’s sentencing in the murder of my husband will not bring back my Srinu, but it sends a strong message that hate is never acceptable. I want to thank the District Attorney’s office and the Olathe police for their efforts to bring this man to justice.

We must understand and love one another. I don’t want another Sunayana or a Mindy Corporon to go through what we have in losing our loved ones. Nothing can fill the void left by this murderess act and the emptiness I feel inside since Sriniu’s murder. I have shared Srinu’s story to highlight the goodness in him with the hope that others will emulate his life and not that of the man who took it. As with other immigrants, Srinu came to the United States with dreams for a better future, obtaining his master’s degree and working in the aviation industry. His zeal to achieve was evident in his time with Garmin where he was working on autopilot systems for helicopters — a job he loved. It was his pride.

Srinu never hurt anyone — that is the way life should be lived.

I continue to use what has happened as a platform with the hope of saving others from going through this hell. We must be there for each other and be proactive to build a loving and understanding community for current and future generations. As Ian Grillot and others at Austin’s stood up that fateful February night, we must all stand up for each other before more hateful acts occur in our community.