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Another Indian shot dead in the US

KANSAS CITY, 8 JULY. A 25-year-old student from Telangana was shot dead in a restaurant in Kansas City in the United States on Friday evening. The incident in Missouri was described as an armed robbery and the police have launched a manhunt for the suspect.

Sharath Koppu, who studied at the University of Missouri, Kansas City and worked at the restaurant J's Fish and Chicken Market, had moved to the United States earlier this year.

The police said Sharath was working at the restaurant when was shot around 7 pm local time. They found him lying in a pool of blood when they arrived on the scene. He was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The police have released a video of the suspect in Sharath Koppu's killing.

Witnesses NDTV spoke to said Sharath was shot in the back trying to run from the would-be robber. "There were five people working in the restaurant on Friday evening when the suspect walked in. He pushed a customer standing in front of him and pulled out a gun. 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," Shahid, who runs J's Fish and Chicken Market and saw the CCTV footage from the incident, said.

Another employee at the restaurant who requested not to be named said, "There were three customers too and we all ducked for cover. We heard three to four shots and Sharath was shot in the back. The gunman soon escaped and we then called 911."

On Saturday, the police released a surveillance video of the suspected shooter - seen in a brown and white striped shirt. In a tweet, they asked anyone with information to call on 816-234-5043 or the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-8477. The police are offering a $10,000 reward for any information that leads to charges in the murder.

The staff at the restaurant remember Sharath Koppu as warm, cheerful and someone always willing to lend a helping hand.

Sharath had grown up in Telangana's Warangal district and graduated from the Vasavi College of Engineering. He had moved to the US for a master's degree after leaving his job as a Software Engineer in Hyderabad.

Sharath's family was informed on Saturday and has contacted Telangana's NRI minister KT Rama Rao, seeking help in getting the body back.

Indian consulate officials in Chicago have also promised all help in getting the body back to India.

Sharath Koppu had just moved to the US after leaving his job as a Software Engineer.

Raghu Chowdavaram, who described himself as Sharath's cousin, has set up crowdfunding campaign to send financial help for Sharath Koppu's family in Warangal. By Sunday, the campaign had collected over $45,000.

"Sharath is known to his family and friends as 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," the page read.

The incident comes a year after another Indian techie from Hyderabad, 32-year-old Srinivas Kuchibhotla, was killed at a bar in Kansas City in a racially motivated hate crime. A US Navy veteran, Adam W Purinton, who shot Srinivas Kuchibhotla on February 22, 2017, after shouting "Get out of my country", was sentenced to life in May this year.

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