Crime

UMKC lauds KC police who ‘risked their lives to pursue justice’ for slain student

“Tomorrow we have a class, and our class will be empty without him”

Sharath Koppu, a UMKC graduate student from India, was shot in the back fleeing a restaurant robbery Friday. Koppu’s cousin and his roommate describe what he meant to those who knew him.
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Sharath Koppu, a UMKC graduate student from India, was shot in the back fleeing a restaurant robbery Friday. Koppu’s cousin and his roommate describe what he meant to those who knew him.

The University of Missouri-Kansas City reacted with gratitude for Kansas City police officers who put themselves at risk investigating a person of interest in the July 6th shooting of one of its students.

Police on Sunday shot and killed a man who fired upon two undercover officers at the Sky-Vu Hotel, 8300 E. U.S. 40. Police had considered the man, who later shot a third officer, a person of interest in the off-campus shooting death of Sharath Koppu.

Koppu was fatally shot in the back on July 6 as he fled from a robber at J’s Fish and Chicken Market at 54th Street and Prospect Avenue, where Koppu was working. Koppu, 24, was a software engineer from India in pursuit of a master’s degree at UMKC.

“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,” said UMKC Chancellor C. Mauli Agrawal in a statement on Sunday afternoon. “These public servants risked their lives to pursue justice for our murdered student, Sharath Koppu.”

Agrawal said last week that he shared Koppu’s Indian heritage, and when he called the slain student’s parents to offer condolences and ask what he could do, Koppu’s parents said, “Please take care of all the other UMKC students.”

Our university will continue to pursue solutions to the problems of crime and violence that bedevil urban communities across America, as well as solutions to the economic and social problems that drive these issues,” Agrawal said on Sunday. “We must come together as one community now to pursue peace and healing.”

The India Association of Kansas City also expressed its thanks for the work of Kansas City police, particularly the three officers who were wounded.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with them for a speedy recovery,” said Jagdeesh Submaranian, spokesman for the India Association of Kansas City. “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 continue to remain safe. “

Gov. Mike Parson also lauded police on Sunday.

“Our law enforcement officers face dangers every single day,” Parson said on Twitter. “We are grateful for the risks they face to keep us all safe. Our thoughts and prayers are with the members of the (Kansas City Police) department and their families.”

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