Hundreds of community members in Sacramento, Calif., gathered at the California State Capitol Building March 2 for a silent prayer and candlelight vigil to mourn and honor Indian American engineer Srinivas Kuchibhotla, who was fatally shot Feb. 22 in Olathe, Kan., in what the FBI is investigating as a hate crime.

The vigil included a peace march and prayer vigil in response to the shooting that not only killed Kuchibhotla, but injured his friend Alok Madasani, as well as Ian Grillot, who attempted to stop the alleged shooter Adam Purinton.

The Mar. 2 vigil, organized by the Indian Association of Sacramento, was attended by several community leaders, non-profit representatives and the public in large numbers, in an attempt to bring all communities together, connected through our humanity. This was the first time that the IAS had held an event of this kind and the goal here was not to make a big statement but to share grief with others who care.

Marchers held pictures, banners and shouted, “Love for all, Hatred for None,” “Love Unity Peace Strength That’s America” and “Love All.”

One of the participants said that she was angry that this has become the state of affairs now and requested everyone to contact their representatives to express how outraged we are about hate crimes. She added that we do not want our kids bullied in school and women who wear headscarves picked on.

IAS is a nonprofit that serves as a platform to preserve the rich cultural heritage of India in the Sacramento area.

India-West staff reporter adds: The Sacramento vigil was among many that have taken place throughout the country. A vigil was held Feb. 26 in Kansas and attended by Madasani; as well as one March 5 in Riverside, Calif., organized by the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin; and in Ohio, where Indian American state Rep. Niraj Antani addressed the community outside the Statehouse.

A vigil in Washington, D.C., is scheduled March 10 for 3:30 p.m. local time with Reps. Ami Bera, D-Calif., and Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., expected to address the attendees.

Another is scheduled March 10 at Evergreen Valley Square in San Jose, Calif., from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. in which Kalra, among other leaders, will speak.

Purinton has been arrested and charged with first degree murder and two counts of attempted first degree murder. He appeared in Johnson County Circuit court Mar. 10, where his public defender sought more time to review evidence, PTI reported.

Wearing an orange jumpsuit, the U.S. Navy veteran, with messy hair and an exhausted look, sat quietly in court, whispering to his lawyer.

His next court appearance is scheduled for May 9.

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