In the wake of a deadly shooting in Olathe, Kansas, people across the world are coming together to donate to the family of the victim, Srinivas Kuchibhotla, who was killed Wednesday. A GoFundMe page was set up for Kuchibhotla's family to help with funeral costs and other expenses related to the grief and recovery for the family, and money is pouring in. As of Saturday morning, the campaign has already far surpassed its initial $150,000 goal.
Kuchibhotla, an engineer who worked at Garmin, was having drinks with a coworker at Austins Bar and Grill Wednesday evening when he was killed. According to witnesses, a man had been hurling ethnic slurs at Kuchibhotla and Alok Madasani, two Indian immigrants. The man was removed from the bar after patrons complained, but he returned and allegedly opened fire on the two men. Madasani sustained injuries but survived the attack, and a third man, Ian Grillot, was injured when he tried to go after the gunman. The FBI is investigating the incident as a hate crime.
A GoFundMe account set up on Thursday seeks to offset the costs of the funeral and returning Kuchibhotla's remains to India. "We've set up this fund to help them with the funeral expenses and other ongoing grief / recovery support costs," the description read. "This includes the very expensive process of carrying his mortal remains back to India, so his parents can say goodbye one last time to their beloved son." As of Saturday morning, the contributions are nearing $550,000 by nearly 15,000 people.
There are two other GoFundMe accounts related to the shooting. One, set up by a man with no relation to any of the victims, has raised nearly $80,000 as of Saturday morning for Madasani's medical costs and funeral expenses for Kuchibhotla. A third account, set up by the family of Grillot, has already surpassed its $300,000 goal to cover expenses related to his recovery.
This is no doubt a horrible situation for the two surviving victims and Kuchibhotla's grieving family. But in the wake of a tragic incident, it is at least heartening that people are willing to come together and to help in whatever way they can, that thousands of strangers feel the need to pitch in. Those are the values that we need in America right now, and hopefully the families and the victims will continue to see more of that kindness and generosity.