The death of Indian American engineer Pruthviraj Kandepi, who was among the three people killed by a gunman at a bank in Cincinnati, Ohio, Sept. 6, has left his parents distraught, IANS reports from Vijayawada.
The parents were grief-stricken at their house in the Tenali town of Guntur district in Andhra Pradesh after the family received the shocking news of his killing.
The 25-year-old engineer was working as a consultant with the Fifth Third Bank in Cincinnati. He, along with two others, Luis Felipe Calderon, 48, and Richard Newcomer, 64, were shot dead by the gunman identified as Omar Perez, 29. Perez was later shot dead by police.
Five others were also injured in the incident that took place the morning of Sept. 6 at the headquarters of the Fifth Third Bank near Fountain Square, Cincinnati.
The only son of Kandepi Gopinath and Kandepi Sudha Rani, Pruthviraj had come to the U.S. six years ago and, after completing his education, joined the bank as a consultant.
His parents and sister were inconsolable after they were informed about his death. Relatives and friends poured in to meet the couple. Gopinath is a deputy engineer with the Andhra Pradesh Housing Development Corporation and is currently serving in Andhra Pradesh capital Amaravati.
According to Pruthviraj's relatives, his parents had plans to get him married and were looking for a suitable alliance, noted IANS.
The family is in touch with relatives and friends, officials of the bank and representatives of Telugu associations in the U.S. and is requesting them to make arrangements to send the body home as early as possible.
AP adds from Cincinnati: The shooter who killed three people in a Cincinnati office high-rise once acted disoriented after being fired four years ago in South Carolina, and he filed a recent lawsuit that a judge in June said "borders on delusional."
Authorities Sept. 7 said they have not figured out why 29-year-old Omar Enrique Santa Perez opened fire inside the lobby of a building where he never worked or had any known connection. The city's police chief said the gunman's mental health history is one of several areas they are investigating.
Police Chief Eliot Isaac said Santa Perez bought the 9 mm handgun legally about a month ago in Cincinnati before he randomly shot at workers in the building that houses the headquarters of Fifth Third Bancorp.
Security footage from inside the lobby showed him firing while carrying a briefcase containing hundreds of rounds of ammunition over his shoulder. Police later found his gun had jammed during the four-minute rampage, Isaac said.
The video also showed Santa Perez walking quickly past a security turnstile just as he was shot by police officers who fired through a plate glass window.
The body of Kandepi was recognized by the coroner, Dr. Lakshmi Sammarco, who said he had met him at a local Hindu temple. The two also shared the same hometown and language, Telugu. Sammarco posted Sept. 7 on Facebook, asking how officials will explain to his parents "they will never see their son again because of a senseless shooting in a foreign country."
The local Telugu Association of North America office said they plan to help Kandepi's father. He wants his son's body to be taken back to India.
Hundreds of people gathered Sept. 7 to remember the victims at a vigil in Fountain Square, just steps from the site of the shooting.
Santa Perez had been in Cincinnati since at least 2015, police said. Before that he lived in South Carolina and Florida.
He filed a lawsuit in 2017 that claimed CNBC Universal Media LLC and TD Ameritrade Holding Corp. hacked into his computer, spied on him and published details about him.
Santa Perez said the companies tapped into audio speakers and digital cameras to invade in his private life.
Both companies rejected the claims, and a federal magistrate in late June recommended dismissing the lawsuit, saying it was "rambling, difficult to decipher and borders on delusional."
Records show Santa Perez had a history of minor offenses in all three states where he had lived. One arrest painted a troubling portrait of him when he was charged with trespassing after being fired from a company that makes kayaks in Greenville, South Carolina.
His boss told officers in October 2014 that Santa Perez had been throwing tools and not acting right in the week before he was let go.
A police officer said Santa Perez was on the ground, refusing to leave and appeared upset and disoriented. He mumbled "about the war and the economy" and talked about how he was upset about being fired, the officer said in a report.
Neighbors who lived in a Cincinnati-area apartment building that Santa Perez moved into this year gave conflicting descriptions of him.
Some told local news outlets that he usually looked angry and wouldn't say hello while another said he always appeared to be in a good mood.
- With IANS and AP reports