The 25-year-old from Telangana’s Warangal district was a postgraduate student of software engineering at the University of Missouri in Kansas City. In the videos above and below, he eagerly explained his elaborate software development-oriented projects, one of which even included an application that provided a medium for tourists and travellers to communicate with foreign locals in their local language.
Koppu had moved to the United States after graduating from the Vasavi College of Engineering in computer science. In a tragic incident on Friday evening, the Indian student was shot dead during a suspected robbery at a restaurant where he worked part-time.
Shahid, who runs J’s Fish and Chicken Market – the restaurant where the incident occurred – told NDTV, “The others ducked behind the counter but Sharath turned around and began to run in the opposite direction when the gunman opened fire. Sharath was shot in the back and soon fell to the ground.”
Shortly after Koppu’s family heard the news, Raghavender Chowdavaram, who describes himself as Koppu’s cousin, set up a crowd-funding campaign to aid Koppu’s family with the last rites. In the campaign – which has already collected over $50,000 – Chowdavaram described Koppu as being “full of dreams, cheerful, energetic and athletic.”
“He had the same dreams like 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,” Chowdavaram wrote. “Sharath will be missed not only by his family, but by everyone whose life he touched. Sharath’s body is being sent to India for cremation. As a co-human being, we cannot end the pain caused to his family but can share the grievance and extend our support to ease the financial burden because of his sudden death.”
The Kansas City police, meanwhile, released a video clip (below) of a suspect inside the restaurant and have asked for citizen’s help identifying him. An investigation is under way.